Friday, September 30, 2011

The Story of a Bracelet

Mr. CP "accidentally" shot this photo. He asked me a question, I used air quotes, and without lifting the camera to his face he snapped this shot without my knowledge. Sneaky. And also a little impressive.

My skirt is a-twirlin'!

Vine-Print Top: Coldwater Creek
Cardigan: August Silk (via Nordstrom Rack)
Skirt: Thrifted
Tights: Hue (via Nordstrom Rack)
Shoes: Chinese Laundry
Brooch: DIY
Earrings: Tiny shop in Rome
Rings: Blue stone - Something Silver; Ruby ring: tiny shop in Venice
Head Band: Target

The summer after Mr. CP and I started dating, he and his family went on a 3+ month trip around the world. He and I didn't get to talk much that summer. Mr. CP sent me emails as often as he could, though his access to the internet was severely limited, particularly in Asia and Africa. I think we spoke about three times on the phone, as well. He knew that I had always loved charm bracelets, though I never wore the traditional, dangly sort simply because the charms frequently fell off and got lost. So, before he left he gave me a Trollbeads charm bracelet that included a single bead -- a beautifully cast forget-me-not charm. To cheer myself up while he was traveling, I pledged to buy myself a single bead for every month he was away. By the time he got back, I had added four additional charms to the bracelet. For a long time, whenever we had a big celebration -- anniversary, birthday, holiday, assorted other milestones -- Mr. CP gifted me with a new charm. Though we've since started a new tradition, Mr. CP and I have come a long way, a fact that I'm reminded of each and every time I look at my now-full bracelet.

If any of you would like to see better close-up shots of the bracelet, I'd be more than happy to oblige. Just let me know in the comments! =)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Window Shopping: Dorothy Perkins

One of my favorite things to do in the evenings is curl up with a glass of wine, and do some serious window shopping online. It's one of the reasons I have such a lengthy wish list. Lately, I've been finding some truly adorable items at Dorothy Perkins. It all began when I spotted the perfect dress for the wedding I'm going to, er, next week. I decided to overlook the exorbitant cost of international shipping, and placed my order... which I still can't believe I did. May I just offer up a general, "Ugh" about the ridiculous cost of international shipping? But I digress. I didn't order anything else, in large part because I didn't look too carefully at the site. Upon second... and third... and fourth glance, however, I found some really, really cute items that I promptly added to my Amazon wish list. =) Below are my five favorites that are currently available (in my size) at Dorothy Perkins.

Black Bird on a Wire Top
Green Floral Belted Skirt
Ochre Ponte Circle Dress
Mink Sausage Dog Jumper 
Grey Zebra Print Cardigan

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Cherries and Lace

There was a squirrel right outside the window eating an acorn. Awwww!

Dress: Forever 21+ (not available online)
Cardigan: August Silk (via Nordstrom Rack)
Tights: Hue (via Macy's)
Shoes: Thrifted
Headband: Target
Necklace: Forever 21
Brooches: All thrifted

By and large, Mr. CP and I are fortunate to have the landlord we have. True, he's impossible to get hold of on the phone. And true, whenever he stops by he likes to talk... and talk... and talk some more. And also true, he's not nearly as handy as he thinks he is. On the flip side, though, he isn't overbearing, he's always polite, and he gets the really important things taken care of quickly and efficiently. So it wasn't at all unusual that when a pipe burst in our bathroom recently, he had a plumber out the next morning at 8 AM, and we had running water again by 9 AM. Our landlord felt so guilty for the inconvenience it caused us, however, that he stopped by a few days later and presented us with a very generous gift card to a local fancy pants restaurant. Mr. CP and I decided to go for lunch rather than dinner, because a) we figured we would be able to enjoy the view more, and b) we just kind of felt like going out for lunch. It was a stunning restaurant -- complete with an indoor waterfall, a bridge, and a running stream -- with a spectacular view of Puget Sound, and an adjacent boat/yacht marina. The food was delicious, too, particularly the trio of miniature creme brulees I ordered for dessert.

After lunch, Mr. CP joined me on a quick trip to Goodwill where I recently saw a pin that I loved, but inexplicably didn't buy. Let me just say that we felt ridiculously over-dressed. Ridiculously. It was hilarious. People kept looking at us like we were complete nut-jobs for getting all gussied up for an expedition to Goodwill. I caught myself smothering giggles a few times at the looks we were getting. Oh, and sadly the brooch was long gone. Farewell, sweet brooch. Farewell.

Speaking of brooches, I couldn't decide which one I wanted to wear today, so I pinned on my top three choices. I was initially torn between the bug brooch pictured above, and a bull brooch that I got as a tongue-in-cheek reminder to myself to grab the bull by the horns. True story. I'm hokey that way. I actually really enjoyed wearing multiple brooches today, so I think I'm going to do this sort of "brooch collage," as Mr. CP dubbed it, more often.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Genius... Or Not

Dress: Modcloth
Shoes: Maurice's (old, old, old)
Headband: Target
Earrings: Betsey Johnson (via Nordstrom Rack, but you can pick them up online here.)

I was so excited when this Modcloth dress arrived on Saturday morning. As soon as I heard the delivery man/woman drop it off on our front stoop, I scampered to the front door and grabbed it off the porch. Seeing it wrapped up all adorable-like in the box, I nearly swooned over the lovely, rich colors. Equally exciting was the exceptionally cute headband Modcloth included as an extra (which will no doubt feature in a future OOTD). As I pulled the dress out of the box, though, I was stumped: I ordered a 2X, and the dress before me most certainly did not look like a 2X. The dress didn't even look like it would fit over my head. I frantically checked the packaging to make sure that there hadn't been some sort of mix up. Nope, there hadn't been. The dress just looked very dainty. So, I wandered into the bedroom to try it on. Much to my dismay, it fit everywhere but the bust. It gave me the dreaded uni-boob. I could hear Mr. CP calling from the living room for me to come out and show him my new treasure... which I did, reluctantly. I must have looked like my puppy just died, because Mr. CP could immediately tell that I was upset. "What's wrong?" he asked. I gestured at the unfortunate gaping under the arms, and the tightness in the bust. Looking more closely at the dress, Mr. CP started chuckling. And then he started guffawing. You see, what I didn't realize is that I had put the dress on backwards. Now, one would think this would be impossible seeing as how this particular dress has a decorative tie around the neck at the back of the dress (you know, like the one I mentioned in this post that sent me into an existential panic). But I had untied said tie, you see, and... and... okay, I have no good excuse for this particular display of air-headed magnificence. In my excitement, attention to details like putting the dress on the right way apparently fell to the wayside. I ran back into the bedroom, spun the dress around and lo and behold, it fit perfectly. Combined with my recent display of genius at Nordstrom Rack, I can't help but wonder: how did I ever manage to dress myself before Mr. CP came along?

A brief note about the dress. For those who don't know, Modcloth does offer clothes in larger sizes. Though the selection is smaller than that available to straight-sized customers, the site has some truly adorable plus-size items. They go up to a 3X, and have a handy (and accurate, I think) size chart. I had the best luck finding plus size items by clicking on the "clothing" category on their main page, and then selecting my size in the left-hand bar.

I also have to say something about these adorable mouse earrings. I've been wearing them pretty much every day. One earring -- the one pictured above -- features a cute little mouse pointing downwards. The other earring -- which isn't pictured -- has a little mouse pointing upwards. I love the subtle asymmetry, and the added interest it lends an already adorable pair of earrings.

Saturday, September 24, 2011


Dress: Ross ($5... bargain!)
Tights: Target
Hat: Hatitude (Las Vegas at the Venetian)
Shoes: Born
Rings: Street Fair (Green stone); Something Silver (blue stone)
Bracelets: All over the place. Can't even remember.
Necklace: Assorted charms from Mr. CP

Today was the first day in nearly a week that I ventured out of the house. It felt great to get out and enjoy what are likely the final days of sunshine we'll be seeing here in Seattle for quite some time. Mr. CP and I have had standing plans to attend Oktoberfest, so I was determined that my ankle injury would be healed by today (Friday)... and miraculously it was!

Oktoberfest was, as always, entertaining. I'm not a big drinker, to be honest, so after about 2 of the little 5-oz tasters I was content to plop myself down on the curb and listen with absolute delight to the ironic and hilarious conversations going on around me. Women in scandalous, cleavage-baring, very non-traditional dirndls, for example, scampered around complaining (with grins on their faces, of course) about how offended they were that men kept staring at their cleavage. Yes, well, a mini-skirt, a push-up bra, and an unbuttoned blouse (if it can even be called that) will do that for you. At one point I found myself reflecting on what I might look like in a dirndl. The mental image alone had me dissolving into a fit of giggles. In an unfortunate coincidence, Mr. CP returned to my happy little curb from a tasting booth just as I started cackling, and gave me one of those, "Can I get away with pretending I don't know her?" looks. I know that Mr. CP reads these posts, so to Mr. CP: No. You can never get away with pretending not to know me. Ne-ver. 

Friday, September 23, 2011

I Got Mail from CatRabbit!

It's no secret that I love whimsical things. Hopefully it's also no secret that I don't take myself too seriously. Believing as I do that a person's individual style should be a reflection of who they are, none of my outfits ever feel complete without something silly, and offbeat. Typically I just stick with accessories -- necklaces, bracelets, and especially brooches -- because it's difficult to find the sorts of prints that I love in larger sizes.

My penchant for such accessories led me to CatRabbit. While browsing her Etsy store, I found myself particularly enchanted by a pair of hair combs in her sold items. Elegant and silly all at the same time, they featured an adorable fancy bunny engraving that I just knew I had to have. So, I promptly emailed CatRabbit, and asked whether she might consider making me a sweater clip/brooch that included the fancy bunny design. I left the other portion of the clip up to her. Much to my delight, she suggested a fancy sloth to accompany the fancy bunny. It took only three weeks from the time we started emailing for me to receive my order -- and that coming all the way from Australia!


If you're in the market for unique sweater clips and/or brooches, you should definitely pay CatRabbit a visit! She was absolutely wonderful to communicate with, and got the clip to me surprisingly quickly! If you're reading this, thanks a bunch Cat!

On a different note, my ankle is healing up quite nicely due in large part to Mr. CP's insistence that I stay off it as much as possible. Ever my knight-in-shining-armor, Mr. CP has been bringing me food and beverages, running my errands, and even doing a load of laundry. Standing (or, in this case, hobbling) in direct contrast to Mr. CP's general wonderfulness is, well, me. I'm an awful patient. The worst, in fact. I feel terrible that he's been forced to do so many things for me, and continually insist on fetching my own drinks and pacing through the house restlessly... you know, to, um, stretch out my ankle. It's feeling more or less better now, though, so expect some OOTD posts coming your way.

Now I just need to find something for Mr. CP that says, "Thank you for taking such wonderful care of me," and "I'm sorry for being such a pain in the ass" all at the same time. Any ideas? Oh, and it would be best if it doesn't involve cooking, because I did NOT almost burn down my old apartment when I tried to cook dinner, and I definitely DO know how to cook really, really well.

And yes, you are most certainly sensing sarcasm there.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Delightful Dresses

I've been on the prowl for cute, patterned dresses lately and figured I'd share with all of you some of the beauties I've come across. Sorry about the small pictures; unfortunately I was unable to pull better photos of the dresses off the different websites. Just click on the links underneath each dress, though, and you can check them out in all their printed glory. Enjoy the eye candy!

Cutest dress ever. I love the dandelion print. The only thing that's prevented me from ordering it is the simple fact that I don't want to pay for international shipping. 

 So cute. You can't really tell from this teeny tiny picture, but this dress has little horses all over it. Regrettably, I'll probably never own this dress. Quite frankly, I just don't think it's worth the $70 price tag. That's pretty much in keeping with my general opinion of Torrid: some cute things, but rarely worth the price.

I have a confession to make. Despite promising myself that I wouldn't order this dress, I caved. Um, Mr. CP made me do it?

 Another confession: I actually own this dress. I ordered it a couple weeks ago, and it arrived on my doorstep yesterday morning. I haven't had a chance to wear it yet -- it's waiting to be washed -- but I love it so much that I just had to include it on this list. I'll definitely post an OOTD featuring this dress in the near future, though, so keep checking back!

When I first saw this dress, I promptly clipped it to Polyvore and started putting together imaginary outfits. I think I've made five sets that feature this dress. At $130 this beauty is well out of my price range, but a girl can dream. Maybe the Birthday Fairy will bring it to me in November!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Penelope's Etsy Wish List

I had fully intended to continue uploading OOTDs, but due to some unforeseen circumstances haven't been able to get any more photographs taken. It all happened yesterday afternoon. Mr. CP had just walked out the door to run to the grocery store, while I stayed behind to finish getting ready for an afternoon outing with a girlfriend. I was happily applying my make-up and boogying to Muse when I heard the sound of spraying water coming from underneath the sink. I'll spare you the gruesome details, and cut to a (relatively) succinct play-by-play. Mr. CP frantically scampered around the outside of the house trying to figure out how to shut the water off, only to realize that the water main faucet had rusted open. He had to call the fire department to come out and shut off the water. I remained inside emptying out a 5-gallon pot every 20 seconds for 45 minutes. Not only did our bathroom flood, so did our entire basement. As if the day hadn't already been stressful enough, about an hour after the pipe burst I was walking down the stairs to see how Mr. CP was handling the wet-and-dry vac when I slipped on the stairs and sprained my ankle. Suffice to say, I've been laid up on the couch since, only getting up to hobble my way to the bathroom like a decrepit old woman... usually with Mr. CP's help. SO not sure when I'll have more OOTD's for you guys, but I'll do my best!

In the meantime, I re-watched the movie Penelope this afternoon, and fell in love with the main character's wardrobe all over again. It's amazing. If you haven't seen the movie, do it now! It's adorable! The movie inspired me to dig around on Etsy, and come up with ideas about what Penelope's Etsy wish list might look like.

  1. Unique Vintage Flower Brooch, BitsofthePas
  2. Vintage Ticking Striped Flower Button Brooch, Keldune 
  3. 1980s Strawberry Brooch, ingridtiger 
  4. Vintage Button Brooch Sunny Days, calloohcallay 
  5. Whimsy Without Time Pocketwatch Pendant, OfQuirkyQuality
  6. Whimsical Secret Woodland Locket, SixAstray
  7. Leaf Print Clutch, lauraclauson 
  8. Gold Moroccan Earrings, laromantica
  9. Sunny Yellow Enamel Flower Earrings, saintgermainstudios
  10. Wendy Whimsical Olivian Branch Bracelet, MonaAbraham
  11. Wild Rose Scarf-Lariat-Yellow, gsakowskidesigns

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A Whimsical Dress

Allow me to paint for you a picture of the conversation Mr. CP and I had while he was very kindly taking these photographs.

Mr CP: You always pose the same way. Do something different! Be creative!

 Me: Um, excuse me? How dare you accuse me of being uncreative! I neeeever pose the same way! (I may have been avoiding eye contact when I said this)
Mr. CP: (blank stare)

 Me: Fine. I'll, erm, just walk... this... way.

Me: And I'll look up at the trees.

Me: Are you happy now? Are you?! ARE YOU?!
Mr. CP: (blank stare)

Dress: Fire Los Angeles (via Nordstrom Rack)
Cardigan: August Silk (via Nordstrom Rack)
Head band: Target
Brooch: Fossil
Bracelet: Vintage
Earrings: Betsey Johnson

I found this dress recently and pounced on it. It has dainty little trees all over it! If there's one thing I love, it's whimsical prints!

Which brings me to a rather hilarious story. Around the same time I stumbled upon this dress, I found another equally adorable one. It had tiny little black and white castles, horse-drawn carriages, and princes all over it. Too cute! Now, I'm not a size large. I'm just not, which I knew when I grabbed the cute little fairy tale dress. I was so desperately enamored with it, though, that I swore I would fit into the damn thing come hell or high water. Interestingly, the problem wasn't getting into the dress. It went on with surprising ease. The problem was moving around and breathing once I had the damn dress on. With a crestfallen expression on my face (no, really, it was like someone had told me Santa Clause wasn't real all over again), I prepared to take the dress off. Only, it turned out that the dress was so tight that my arms were effectively pinned at my sides. I couldn't lift them. I should probably mention that I don't handle stress well. There are some people who operate rationally and calmly in stressful situations. Mr. CP, for example, is fantastic to have around when unfortunate things happen. My response to stress is far less productive: I either cry, or, as in this particular situation, laugh hysterically. Typically, dissolving into a fit of giggles isn't a problem. Typically, though, I can breathe in whatever I happen to be wearing. FYI, laughter only works well if you can breathe. So there I stood laughing like a crazy person. I couldn't quite manage, however, to get enough air... which caused me to start hyperventilating, which in turn only made me laugh that much harder. It was the proto-typical Giggle Loop. I finally managed to calm down enough to shimmy (yes, shimmy) over to my purse, maneuver my phone out of my bag, dial Mr. CP's number (he was there with me), kneel down, press my ear to the phone, and gasp something largely incoherent into the speaker. So, poor Mr. CP had to come back to the dressing room to help me hoist the dress over my head. ::sigh:: So much for maintaining any sense of mystery. I learned a valuable lesson, though. Love isn't roses, or breakfast in bed. It's rescuing your stupidly determined significant other who's apparently lacking in the common sense department from a too-small item of clothing.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Mary Poppins

This is what Mr. CP affectionately refers to as my "Quoi?" Face.

Cardigan: August Silk (via Nordstrom Rack)
Camisole: Maurice's
Hat: Ross
Rings: Flea Market, Street Fair, Something Silver, and a random shop in Venice
Brooch: Thrifted
Necklaces: Forever 21

Mama CP leaves tomorrow, so we capped off a fun-filled week with, you guessed it, shopping. Mama CP, as I've mentioned, lives in a very, very tiny Midwestern town, so whenever she makes her way to the bustling metropolis of Seattle, she likes to visit her favorite shops throughout the city. So it was that I found myself happily browsing in the shoe section at Nordstrom Rack today (again) when I heard a small child exclaim, "Look mom! It's Mary Poppins!" I wasn't even aware he was talking about me until I glanced over and saw him pointing in my general direction. I did that thing you do when you notice someone looking and/or pointing at you: I glanced surreptitiously over each shoulder to make sure there wasn't anyone else around about whom he could be talking. To be honest, I was flattered. Mary Poppins was, is, and always will be absolutely adorable. As soon as I got home, I made the unfortunate decision to tell Mr. CP about the little boy, and he's been humming "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" (shoot me now for having to type that) every time I walk into the room.

The final picture above was a bit of an experiment. Mr. CP wanted to see if he could get a shot of the dandelion seeds. He couldn't. Not really. The last photograph above is the best of about 50 shots. Turns out it's much more difficult to get a shot of dandelion seeds gently drifting through the air than one might initially think. By the end of all the shots, I was winded from huffing and puffing at so many of the damn things.

On a side note, for whatever reason, this skirt always appears blue in photos. In actuality, it's black. 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Autumn Has Arrived!

Dress: Target
Cardigan: August Silk (via Nordstrom Rack)
Tights: Hue (via Macy's)
Boots: Fitzwell (via
Bracelet: Fossil (via Ross)
Sweater Clip: DIY
Brooch: Nordstrom Rack
Head band: H&M

I think I mentioned this in a previous post, but I'm heading to Charlotte, North Carolina at the beginning of next month for a wedding that will feature, among other things, the colors black and red, and coffins. The politics of dressing for weddings always stresses me out. What's too casual? How fancy is too fancy? Will I end up looking out of place? I'm quite high strung that way. I had initially planned on wearing something suitably autumnal, but when I heard about the theme of the wedding, I figured that mustard colored anything was probably out. So I settled on a different outfit to wear. That's about the time I received further word that, in addition to avoiding the colors black and red altogether, guests are expected to wear elegant evening attire. Not only had I decided upon something that was predominantly black with accents of red (what are the odds?), it was also in no way suitable for an occasion that calls for "elegant evening attire." In fact, I have absolutely nothing suitable in my closet. So, using my limited totally awesome and completely impressive Google-fu skills, I figured out what elegant evening attire is, and dutifully started researching potential clothing items. To be honest, even after my research, "elegant evening attire" still seems like a fairly broad category. There are any number of different interpretations as to what that may mean. I'm going with evening gown, knee-length or longer, with fancier accessories. Which reminds me: they've also requested that guests wear "spooky accessories." I still have no idea how I'm going to pair spooky accessories with the fancy-pants dresses I have my eye on, so I suspect I'll be getting creative over the next few weeks in an attempt to create spooky, but still classy and situation-appropriate accessories. 

A note about the outfit: the cardigan is actually a lovely cinnamon color. The last two pictures show the color off better than the others. For whatever reason, the cardigan appears vaguely pink in the first few photos.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Ruffles and Stripes

Cardigan: Nordstrom Rack
Tank Top: Target
Skirt: Thrifted
Tights: Hue (via Nordstrom Rack)
Boots: Nordstrom Rack
Head band: H&M
Earrings: Vintage (gifted)

Mama CP is in town this week, and together we've managed to do quite a bit of damage at a few local stores. Primary among them? Nordstrom Rack. I grabbed this cardigan on the way to the fitting rooms fully expecting that I would hate it. Ruffles plus my (ahem) ample bosom typically equal bad news bears. Much to my surprise, however, I found that I really, really liked the style and the fit of this particular cardigan, so I carried it around gleefully for the remainder of our shopping trip with what was no doubt a self-satisfied smile on my face.

I wasn't entirely sure whether these boots worked well with the ensemble. I carried around a camel-colored purse with the outfit -- which obviously isn't pictured -- and I think it helped pull everything together. As an aside, I included the last photograph because I've worn this head band in a couple previous OOTDs, but never quite managed to get a decent photograph of it. You can find the previous posts where I wore the head band here and here.

Here's where I confess one of my deep, dark secrets to you. We all have those things about ourselves that bother us. Mine are those pesky "creases" that I get around the bra-area on my back. It used to drive me crazy... hell, sometimes it still does. But, really, who cares? If someone refuses to interact with me on such bizarre grounds, then well... they're kind of a weirdo. Beyond that, looking around when I'm out and about, nearly every single person I see -- regardless of size, weight, or height -- suffers from exactly the same issue. SO my general philosophy is that it's a part of me, it doesn't really matter in the long run, and that I just need to get over it (which I'm fully willing to admit is harder than it sounds).

Ah... I almost forgot: that second picture. Mr. CP asked me why I always strike the same pose. That was my response, captured on camera for the world to see.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Floral and Elephants and Mustard, Oh My!

Please excuse the awkward proportions. I think I was standing on a slight hill, so I look ever so slightly like a hobbit.

Stop it! You're making me laugh!

Smirking just seemed like a good idea at the time.

Top: Old Navy
Cardigan: Nordstrom
Skirt: Coldwater Creek (you can find a similar one here)
Tights: Macy's
Shoes: Thrifted (brand spankin' new for $1.20!)
Head band: H&M
Sweater clip: DIY
Brooch: DIY
Earrings: Vintage (they're tiny elephants!)

As promised in my last OOTD post, I decided to go ahead and show off one of my colorful new purchases. I absolutely love this floral top. It initially had a bow in the back that sat between my shoulder blades, but I removed it. I don't mind bows on the lower back or on the front of my blouses, but inexplicable ties in the vicinity of the shoulder blades just confuse me. Why are they there? What's their purpose? What's my purpose? Who am I? Before long, I'm in the throes of an existential crisis, and find myself gasping for breath with a bag fixed over my face. So I figured I'd just hack the bow off and save myself the philosophical stress.

Perhaps one of you can help me with this. I love tucking my shirts into whatever bottom I happen to be wearing when the occasion or outfit calls for it, but how in the name of all that is holy do you keep the top from, well, poofing? My shirts always poof out and end up looking decidedly 1983 (I hate myself a little for saying that...) I thought a belt might help, but ultimately decided against wearing one, figuring that it probably wouldn't solve the problem. Have you discovered any remedies to the unfortunate poof?