Friday, July 30, 2010

Black and Bright

sleeveless shell from Jones New York, black pants by T Tahari, red jacket from NY & Co.

I wear the jacket in the office, but quickly shed it outside in the heat!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

LOVE: Wedding Dress

Hello my friends! I can’t have much of a fashion blog if I don’t share my all-time favorite outfit with you, can I?

Some details:

- This dress is not bright white, it’s more of a “diamond white.”
- It is made of raw silk, which keeps its nubby texture.
- Originally this dress had long sleeves. I loved them, but they were not practical for a July wedding! Off they went!
- These shoes are the most expensive I own. Silk with crystals. Wore them all day with no pain.
- My pearl earrings were that Something Borrowed…from one of my bridesmaids.
- My favorite part of this dress is the scalloped neckline and the cap sleeves.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

My Favorite Color is Yellow

Babydoll top by MICHAEL Michael Kors, orange with yellow lace tank top from Forever 21, white shorts from NY & Co., gladiator sandals by Via Spiga

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Price of Cuteness

I have an attraction to cute. Think bubble tea, Yoda, short, flippy, blonde hair, and that cute widdle biddy Mini Cooper that I dwribe awound.

One area of this physical world that is a veritable calendar of cuteness is the realm of shoes. There are so many cute shoes out there! And, to my dismay, the internet makes them even more desirable. I mean, how many pairs of shoes have I purchased online that I never would have purchased in a store? My friends, it is many. The net of the final, non-returnable sale has been one I have been caught in often.

All this is to say that I wear those 5-inch stiletto Steve Madden nude patent platforms as often as possible, which isn’t often, but when I insist on doing so, there is a cost; I waver and shuffle slowly along, taking widdle biddy steps, and every eight minutes I have to stop walking because my feet hurt. My husband calls it “the price of cuteness.”

It is a price I am willing to pay. Whether it’s a summer dress that isn’t thick enough to stand up to an air conditioned room, a linen jumpsuit that makes me undress when I go to the restroom, or that itchy sweater that I don’t want to bulk up by wearing a layer underneath, I love dressing cute, whether I’m comfortable or not. Maybe you can relate.

Excuse me, I have to go design a brochure… I think I’ll put a basket of kittens on the cover…

Monday, July 26, 2010

Saturday Shorts

Dockers t-shirt, Ralph Lauren shorts, sandals from The Walking Company

Friday, July 23, 2010

What is Beautiful

Beauty inspires. Some of my favorite beautiful things:

- An evening thunderstorm
- Hans Zimmer’s “Vide Cor Meum”
- The taste of flourless chocolate cake
- The smiling eyes of my husband
- The purr-and-snuggle of an affectionate kitten
- My brown patent Circa Joan & David pumps
- Isaiah 49:16
- John Williams’ “Princess Leia’s Theme”
- Snow falling at night on a silent street
- Edward Hopper’s painting “Morning Sun

What are yours, my friends?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Faith's Four Favorite Flats

I love flats. I love heels too, because it’s a requirement for anyone 5 ft. 3 in. tall. But flats seem very chic to me. They never try too hard.

Here are my four favorite flats.

Loeffler Randall skull flats
These were my Holy Grail of shoes for years. They were introduced in fall/winter 2006-07. I saw them online then and died. They were so smooth and patent-y, so dangerous with the skull cutout. They were also $400, which I can never even imagine spending on shoes, so I sadly dismissed them.

A year later, I remembered them and began hunting around. They were nowhere to be found. I started checking eBay regularly. In the spring of 2009 I lost a bid for them there. Also in the spring I missed them when they were selling on Gilt in bone patent. In October 2009 another pair came up on eBay, and I didn’t wait to bid, I “bought it now” and they were on their way! I love, love, love these shoes, and wear them year-round.

Mia harem sandals
Suede. Olive green. Comfy. These are shoes that people stop me in grocery stores to comment on.

Delman Mona flats
Classic orange patent ballerina flats. I love the color, and I love these flats. Purchased new but cheap on eBay.

Belle by Sigerson Morrison knotted flats
These are my newest favorites. They’re very unique and very comfortable. They go with many of my outfits!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Fingernails That Shine Like Justice

Sinful Colors Aqua and Zoya Richelle. Click for larger views!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Is My Halo Showing?

Cardi/shell set from Von Maur, white ankle pants from LOFT, white perforated oxford mules by Franco Sarto, belt by TreVero, stone necklace by Sherzada.

I am extra-glowy in an all-white outfit! This is one of my favorite necklaces that I got at a Chicago Macys by a local designer. And those shoes, I've had them for many years, probably since 2003 or so. They look like fashionable golf shoes to me!

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Benefit of the Doubt

I think there is a lot of hurting and reacting in our world. People are easily offended, and use it as an excuse to retaliate. They quickly condemn. The other party gets defensive and strikes back, and before you know it, an argument has started, or worse. You see it in comments made on online news articles, you hear it on the radio, you watch it happen over any topic that has two sides to it. And doesn’t every issue have two sides?

We humans are very complex beings. We all have distinct beliefs, backgrounds, and experiences. We are capable of a wide range of emotions; we also can be very unemotional. What is important, or offensive, or meaningful to one person may not be to another. This is why, my friends, before we get angry, or condemn one another, it is important to open our minds up and consider: Where is the other person coming from? This thinking leads me to give people, situations, and ideas that are different from mine the Benefit of the Doubt.

My principle of the Benefit of the Doubt has the following rules:
- Realize that my knowledge is limited. I probably don’t have the full picture.
- Refuse to be cynical.
- Try to understand where the other person is coming from. Ask questions to accomplish this.
- Realize that people have different definitions of the same word. This leads to many, many misunderstandings. For example, what is your definition of the verb “judge”? How about the word “everybody”? Or “religious”?

When an action, statement, article, or person hurts or threatens me, I feel the pain, but I do not react from a place of pain. I hold off on reacting until I can think thoroughly about it. I ask questions if possible. I try to let love guide me, and, when all else fails, I simply give people the Benefit of the Doubt, and freely move on.

After all, we humans are very simple beings. We all desire love, friendship, and to be a part of something larger than us. Remembering that we all are in the same boat and have a common destiny prompts me to be compassionate.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Do These Pants Make Me Look Short?

Critique time! I like these cropped tan pants from LOFT. I've been wearing them for years, they're a great neutral basic.

For some reason, I seem to always wear them with 3/4 length sleeves. Now, like the rest of me, my arms are short and I love 3/4 sleeves. But are cropped pants and cropped sleeves too much?

And should a short girl even be wearing cropped pants? And why am I standing in the exact same way on both days? Let me know what you think, my friends!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

An Open Letter to Kohl’s, or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love My Husband

Dear Kohls/JCPenney/Sears,

Hi there. My name is Faith. You don’t know me, it’s okay. But I know you. You are a giant nationwide chain store, carrying low-to-mid-priced clothing, as well as home goods, and, like, power tools. You also carry real jewelry, which mystifies me. You are often found in the suburbs. When people walk in, they experience the cool, plastic-tinged scent of hopeful mediocrity. It’s not unlike walking into a Dairy Queen, planning to eat dinner.

I take issue with you, but not because of your existence. Certainly our country needs you, because the very young, the very old, and the very trendy need clothing of short-lived quality.

My issue is that you’ve fooled my not-very-old husband into thinking your clothing is suitable, durable-- and even desirable-- for work, home, and church. Clothing that he will hang on to for a decade.

Your sales are what hook him. Every year, he prepares for your Day after Thanksgiving Sale, looking at newspaper flyers, tearing out coupons, and carefully making a list. Since this is the only day of the year he will shop for clothing for himself, you woo him with promises of ankle-length black $16 jeans with an elastic-inset-waistband that he will continue to wear once they’ve become a kind of blackish-bluish-grey. You know, after they’ve been washed a few times. Yes, you know.

My husband appreciates high quality in almost all things. He insists on purchasing furniture made of real wood, preferably handmade by the Amish. I recently returned a pair of tongs I had purchased to Crate & Barrel because they had plastic ends. To make a salad, he will buy delicious goat cheese and hydroponically-grown Living Lettuce. And he loves your high-end power tools.

But when it comes to clothes, do you know how often he wears his cashmere v-neck sweater my parents got him for Christmas? As often as I remind him of it. His Columbia Cascadian Summit II snow boots with Thermolite insulation I gave him for his birthday? Just when he shovels the driveway.

I guess it’s alright. Maybe it’s not your fault after all. Who else will sell the Dockers dress pants and Levi’s denim shirts that he loves? I mean, at least he’s not purchasing clothes from Wal-Mart. And his honest, humble character, chivalry, and rugged good looks more than compensate for any lack of fashion quality judgment.

But maybe, once in a while, you can stock some Thomas Pink, or at least Calvin Klein, if it’s not too much to ask?

I would really appreciate that.

Faith J.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Garden Wedding

silk babydoll dress by Sophia Eugene , mesh biker shorts (under dress) by So Low, onyx heart necklace by Tiffany & Co.,
white cropped cardi from Von Maur, noname red croc clutch, the shoes I wore in my wedding

We went to a garden wedding last month--friends of my family--in the Chicago suburbs. Here are shots of my outfit with and without the cardi. The dress is short so I wore mesh biker shorts underneath!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Newly Rescued Kitten

After church on Sunday, one of our friends told me he had found a kitten that morning at the bus stop, and brought her on the bus to church. Of course, I had to take her home! She is friendly, gentle and playful. We got her cleaned up and am looking for a home for her. We have a couple of leads. The cool thing about this kitten: she has 6 toes on each paw! So her feet look gigantic! We were calling her "Six" but now are calling her "Trixie." We watched Speed Racer last night.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Bad Hair Monday

red silk sweater by Jones New York, white cropped pants from Ann Taylor, white burn-out shirt from J. Crew, white wedge sandals by Kenneth Cole Reaction, shell necklace, OPI On Collins Ave. nail polish

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Sinister Recluse!

When I grow up, what I really, really want, is a big house chock-full of brown recluse spiders, with bites that never ever heal, decaying through all the layers of your skin until you’re left with a gaping open wound. Well, my friends, I am living the dream.

I’m not from around here. I’m from Chicago, where there are a lot of spiders, but not of the giant, lurking, lightning-fast, blanket-loving variety. Though I had heard of the horrors of the brown recluse, I had never seen one, and had no idea I was moving to one of their home states two years ago.

Imagine my joy as I started unpacking in the 100+ year old home that I would soon share with my husband. This home had been renovated but not lived in for a while. It wasn’t very long before I starting seeing these big, fast spiders. I had an instinctual fear of them. I remember one day I looked under my bed. There were two of them, looking back at me.

I would call my fiancĂ©. “Sweetie, there are a lot of spiders in this house.”
“Well, it’s an old house, it’s bound to have them.”
“But these spiders don’t have webs. They are just walking around on the floor.”
“Do you want me to take care of them?” It amused him that I was so scared of them: at our wedding, one of his vows was to kill all the spiders we encountered.

We got married and were living in bliss, and whenever I saw one of those spiders, my husband would kill it. We probably saw one a day, sometimes more. I was still afraid, and I started to suspect that they were something on the level of a black widow spider.
So one day, I sprayed Spider-Not on a large one on the stairs. After it twitched its last, I took a glass jar and scooped it up so I could look at it closer. I went to the internet. I almost died. I had identified the mysterious spider. This discovery led to hysterical screaming, a nice big exterminator bill, and me checking the sheets, pillows and covers before climbing into bed every night.

Since then, I have become a kind of brown recluse evangelist. Whenever I meet someone new to this part of the country, I warn them profusely. We are still hunting them in our home, but thankfully no one has been bitten.

So I hope no one who has or will stay overnight with us will be reading this! Don’t worry, we’ve taken care of most of them. Mostly.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Polka Dotty

black polka dot shirt by Express, black pants by T Tahari, shoes by Circa Joan & David

OK, it's a very small polka dot. But I try to stay away from big prints! I love the professional look of button-up shirts but sometimes they look funny tucked in. As always, click on the photos for a larger look.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Rescued Cats and Kittens



Here are two of the four I rescued: Captain, Sparrow, Whitney, and Asia

Thing 1 and Thing 2

Milla (sorry, no photo)

Shmi (the one I kept)

These are cats I have rescued and found homes for over the past ten years. In some cases, I found them. In others, someone told me about them, and I went and got them. I have a really soft heart for stray cats. When I lived in Chicago, I volunteered at a cat shelter every Saturday for five years.
Shadow and Buster are two that I rescued in the past year, since I've been married. My loving husband has been very supportive, but it's certainly something he wouldn't do without me!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Grey, Yellow, White, Black

sweater by Pink Tartan, skirt by Banana Republic, shoes by Circa Joan & David, silver cuff from Mexico

Friday, July 2, 2010

Only Because I Love You

engineer's cap by Eugenia Kim for Target, shell and pearl necklace from honeymoon, shoes by Diesel

There are a lot of things in life that I don’t like to do. Job hunting, nighttime grocery shopping, flossing, and scrubbing the bathtub are a few. I mean, life isn’t all cupcakes and kittens. But those things are necessary, and I do them without complaint.

But unnecessary activities, like free-choice, free-will things I do with my discretionary time, that I don’t like to do, are more difficult to endure without some complaining. And one of those things is tent-camping.

Tent-camping. As opposed to cabin-camping, where at least you don’t have to sleep on the ground. And where the cabin is already there and you don’t have to build it, then unbuild it after two days.

Whose idea of a fun getaway is to spend hours preparing, packing and loading the car, then drive to a campground far away, then unpack and set up camp, then unpack, set up, and cook food in an unsanitary, buggy environment? Then a couple of days later, spend hours taking it all down, packing up the car again, driving back home, and cleaning and unpacking everything? It takes a colossal amount of time and effort, and on top of it, you can’t take any good shoes with you because they might get dirty, wet, or eaten.

And for what magical experience? To sit around a campfire in canvas chairs? To put quarters into a shower in some showerhouse built in the 70s? To lie in a clammy sleeping bag listening to wolves howl and praying for sleep? To gaze upon a vast landscape of trees interspersed with other people’s campsites?

So my friends, now that I am married, I am subjected to a yearly camping outing. I do it only because I love my husband. And what does he do only because he loves me? Rescue kittens. I think it’s a pretty fair trade. More about that next week…

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Three Trend Thursday

striped shirt by I.N.C., linen jumpsuit by Silence & Noise, studded flats by Vince Camuto