Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Today is my 21st birthday...

... which is why I hope you'll forgive my lack of a substantial post. :)

I'm just taking it easy and enjoying the day; pondering who I am, where I've come from, and who and where I want to be. It's strange to think that I am now at an age I would have considered the "peak" of a lot of things when I was younger, and I yet I'm not much closer to any of those things than I was back then. And that's OK.

I've come to realize that every single thing that happens each day is all part of the amazing and exciting journey, and even though I might prefer to be "dashing along" right now, it's probably better for me (spiritually, mentally and physically) that I'm still "walking". Granted, it's faster than it used to be, but I've yet to break into a real "jog".

And although I'm content with where I am... I'm excited for when that does happen. :)

God is good. Life is beautiful.

What I'm Wearing (on my birthday! :)
White Ruffled Top by unique connection - from the Portobello Road market in London, England
Black Scoop-neck Shirt by Favorite T by GAP - hand-me-down
Skinny Jeans by OLD NAVY - hand-me-down
"Buckingham" Heels by laceys - from BULLFROGS in Greenwich, England
Pink Ring from Cari - Silver band from Shakespeare's Globe Theater, England

I hope everyone is having a blessed, fashion-y day! I'll catch up with you real soon.... :)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Grace Style

Grace Kelly. Doesn't her very name give you a bit of a thrill? And it was her real name. I can't think of one that could possibly be more fitting. There haven't been many actresses as elegant, poised and graceful as she was.

Throughout her few years in Hollywood, Grace was known for her beauty, acting ability and good behavior. Her conduct, manners and sense of humor managed to keep her out of the tabloids. And attracted the attention of Prince Rainier of Monaco. They were married in the mid-50s and Grace became one of the most celebrated and iconic princesses of the 20th century.

On top of her film career and a life of royalty, Grace was an immaculate fashionista, both on and off the screen. Ever since I was little, any full skirted 1950s gown was linked inextricably in my mind with Grace Kelly. The style never suited any other woman so well.

The gown shown in these two photos is from the film Rear Window, and it perfectly showcases Grace's beauty. The wide-cut, black silk top is belted into a gorgeous white organza skirt, long and full... with striking black embroidery and beadwork at the waistline. The outfit is finished off with strappy black high heels and Grace's signature pearls and white opera gloves. Just perfect.

Do you have a favorite Grace Kelly film or costume? I'll admit that I'm crazy about some of those gorgeous tulle and chiffon creations she sports in High Society. So pretty...

As for an update on the London photos: It seems like almost everyone wants to see them all, so what I'm going to do is give you a few more tastes on this blog and then unleash the complete albums online for you to browse. I'll be inserting my regular fashion posts in between to keep variety and interest. I hope this will be satisfactory to everyone. Have a great weekend! :)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Taste Of London...

UPDATE: Click here to view the complete photo albums!

... and this IS just a taste. I started going through my photos with the intention of only grabbing a few "highlights", but there were so many that I was completely overwhelmed. Let it suffice to say that I am sharing a few favorites and that I will be sharing more in the future. I intend to put a complete album online for you to browse, and also edit my video for viewing.

I really DO have enough London-y material (personal, historical and fashion-y) to swamp this blog for months, if you want. After all, although I write the blog for my own enjoyment, I want to keep my readers interested. So please cast a vote in the poll in the right-hand sidebar (you can choose multiple answers) and tell me what you'd like to see. And be honest!

Now, on to the photos... :)

  • Cari and I strolling along the edge of the Tower of London (did you know that it really is a fortress? The actual "tower" is just a small part of it all). Tower Bridge is behind us. Walking across it with the wind whipping by was definitely one of the best things I did. This is officially my most favorite bridge in the whole world. ;)

  • Big Ben (which I totally fell for) and the Houses of Parliament from the London Eye (which you can also see in the second picture). Out-of-this-world amazing and definitely something I recommend doing if you ever get the chance! We chose the perfect time to ride it; with the sun setting and all the lights of London coming on below us...

  • Standing behind Buckingham Palace after our tour. It was insanely gorgeous (I could totally get used to the royalty thing... ;) and reminded me how much I love Queen Elizabeth II. She is such a beautiful, classy fashionista! 
  • St. James' Park was also stunning and had some lovely rose gardens...
  • I just loved the red telephone booths all over the place.... when they were clean. This one had apparently been used as a toilet! :P 
  • Here I am sitting by the fountains in Trafalgar Square. This is where my grandfather was on VE day - supposedly the celebrations were quite something! ;)

  • One of my absolute favorite shots of the week, with my girlies watching As You Like It at the Globe Theater. It was an amazing performance and had us all in stitches. I think we were the loudest people in the theater - three cheers for screaming American girls!!! Clockwise from me: Cassie, Cari, Abbe, Molly and Amy. Yeah, I'm going to have to start calling myself "Mandy" if I want to fit in... ;)
To sum up... I had the time of my life. The most exhausting whirlwind of a week and totally worth every aching step (even the over 1000 steps up and down St. Paul's Cathedral - Cari has permanent foot damage to show for it... ;). Thanks so much to everyone who has commented, prayed and been excited for me - you are all very appreciated and I just can't wait to share more pictures with you! God bless! xo

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Taking off...

Some of you probably know that I'm going to be gone for a little bit. Not too long. Just a week. Although it will be two weeks for all my lovelies who read this blog, since this will be my last post until the 22nd, at least. I was hoping to have pre-planned material to post for you all, but with all the excitement and preparations, I have been, plainly, too busy.

Oh yes, and my destination is...

*big dreamy smile* ;)

Just if case you are curious, I'll share a few of the details. My aunt Cari and I are flying "across the pond" as part of Mrs. Jennie Chancey's (of Sense and Sensibility Patterns) England costume tour. We're going to be seeing the sites, visiting museums, and watching a play in Shakespeare's Globe Theatre. Just to name a few things.

It promises to be a really fun time and I'm looking forward to it. Please keep us all in prayer; that we'll stay safe, healthy, and not too jet lagged. God is good and I am so excited at this opportunity to begin pursuing my dream of seeing the world. :)

Have a great few weeks and God bless you all...

P.S. I will be back with PICTURES!!! :)

Image: postercheckout.com

Friday, September 4, 2009

End of Summer Style - Black and White

The last few days have been very "fall-ish". Each morning I've been waking up to that chilly "summer is over" morning weather. It's strange to feel it so early in the year but, as always, I DO enjoy the change of seasons. And looking forward to the fashions of fall is an exciting thing! But keep in mind that there aren't so many summer days left - so enjoy your summer fashion while you can!

I shot these pics before heading out to a 16th birthday party for some friends (fun! :). A good thing to note is how easily a simple look like this can be taken into fall weather. The skirt (from my best girlie, Meliss!), though made of linen, is long and extremely full, which brings a "heavier" look for fall (and even winter). Boots can replace the flip flops, and a little black shrug or sweater makes everything snug. :)

What I'm Wearing:
White Blouse with Buttons by girl krazy - from KOHL'S
Black Linen Skirt by DALIA COLLECTION - thrifted by Melissa
B&W Flip Flops - "thrifted" by me ;)

And, just so you all realize what a momentous moment this is, let me tell you that these are the first flip flops I have owned in my life. And I didn't even buy them (honestly, I found these while digging through a box of family swim shoes! ;). I've never been into flip flops, mostly because I usually think they're ugly, rather uncomfortable and not so functional; and I have heard that they are bad for your feet and back. BUT... I do like this pair. Probably because it continues my mild obsession with black and white. :)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Fall Lovelies from Talbots - Part II

Color can make a world of difference in the fashion realm. If you've ever wondered why some shirt just didn't look right, it's probably because the color was wrong for you and your skin tone. This is one of my favorite subjects on which to "educate" people ;), so for Part II of my favorite shots from Talbot's online Lookbook, I'm going to be touching on the upcoming popular colors for fall. Fortunately, your greatest colors are almost always in style. And if they're not, wear them anyway! :)

I don't know about you, but I have always dreamed about one day having a really amazing red dress. Deep, intense shades of red are so beautiful and just seem to say "class and style" to me.

I love the two pieces shown here, especially with the accents of scarves and accessories! If you've got a cool skin tone, go for a purple-ish maroon shade, if you're "warm" go for something with a bit more orange mixed in.

As well as color, different patterns also play a big part in complementing your look. Plaid, as shown here, is always a HUGE trend in fall fashion. To be honest, I think it ends up "quite ugly" quite often. The key to making it work is to keep it simple and sophisticated.

Don't choose a plaid with too many (or strange) colors mixed in and don't wear plaid on both the top and bottom. (It will kill you when you look back on pictures 10 years from now. ;) These two shots are great examples of plaid worn well.

I cannot say enough about the color brown. I consider myself an "brownie", which is a tiny Scottish fairy, and seriously, I need to watch out because this color can overtake my wardrobe! Brown is the "warm" counterpart of black, so pick which one works for you - they are both beautiful and classic!

I have always been leery of polka dots because, like plaid, they are so often done wrong. But don't let that stop you - here is a beautiful example of polka dots done right. When the size and colors are in balance with the rest of your outfit, they can be quite cute. :)

Lastly, we've got two of the colors that everyone is talking about. Yellow and purple. Both have become some of my favorites (although both can be hard to wear). Muted yellows have a subdued cheerfulness to them that is rather catching. The purple, in a deep jewel tone, is strong and trendy, while remaining tasteful and not too bold.

You can see the rest of Talbot's Lookbook here. So, which "fall" shades are your favorites? Do you have anything to share about fall trends I haven't covered? And, lastly, does anyone have tips for wearing plaid and polka dots? ;)

Image Credits - all photos from Talbots.com