Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Love like a sunset

dress & underskirt: vintage | shoes: Goodwill

On Saturday, during the slightest of reprieves from the unbearable heatwave, my family, Chris, and I traveled to Indiana for the wedding of one of our dearest friends. Our two families have been friends since long before I was born. Before either of them had any kids at all, in fact - over 30 years ago. We have a rich history, full of inside jokes and family vacations and loads of embarrassing pictures. As we kids grow up and get married and have kids, it has gotten harder and harder to uphold our long-standing tradition of visiting each other every summer. Luckily, they live closer now than they did before. This wedding was actually my third time getting to see them this year - the most recent time was this postIt's good to be around people who knew you when you were in diapers and doing all manner of silly things. It keeps you humble.


And how lovely it was to see Anna get married! Talk about perseverance - her now-husband pursued her for seven years while they were both teaching abroad in Taiwan. Wow. They have such a sweet story, and it was wonderful to see them begin that next chapter. I mostly kept my camera to myself because I was so busy soaking it all up, but Chris and I did manage to get a few shots in. The reception was held in a gym, but you'd never have known. We both gasped when we turned the corner and saw how it had been transformed into something out of a fairy tale. Very fitting.

We had to leave far too soon to make the 3-hour drive back home, but the timing actually worked out well, because when we crossed the border back into Michigan, we were treated to the most gorgeous sunset I've ever seen. I'm only including one picture here, but trust me, we took way more photos! It was constantly shifting and changing into forms each more glorious and colorful than the last. It was sad indeed when the sky finally went dark, but I felt privileged to have seen something so beautiful.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Free pie

dress: vintage from Dethrose Vintage | sunglasses: Forever 21 | wallet: Target | shoes: ModCloth

Last Thursday, Chris and I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the premiere of our friend Caleb's short film, "Free Pie." Since Chris did the artwork for the film - logo/poster, invitations, etc. - it was kind of a special occasion, so I jumped at the chance to get all dressed up! I bought this dress from Dethrose Vintage months ago, and hadn't found an opportunity to wear it - until now. Seeing as how the word "pie" was in the title, I decided to go full-on Charlotte Charles of Pushing Daisies. (Even my earrings are little bees!) I think she'd approve, don't you?

Going to the premiere made me realize once again how much I adore my city. Grand Rapids has so much to offer. The event was held at the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts, which has a gorgeous new theatre (where I was able to see a silent film for the first time last year!) There was food from one of my favorite local restaurants, great beer, and coffee from a local roaster named Rowster - quite possibly the best iced coffee I have ever had. And yes, there was free pie.

But front and center, of course, were the films - and they did not disappoint. There were excellent short films, stunning commercials (including the ad for Microsoft Surface, which was directed by Caleb!) fun music videos, and on and on. Free Pie - "a traumatic comedy about life, death, pie, and death" - was, of course, the standout film of the evening. I laughed and I got chills.

I wouldn't say this if I didn't mean it: the quality of all the films was incredible. There is a ton of talent here. It is a very exciting time to be a Grand Rapidian.

In other exciting news: I just got a fashion column in a local magazine! I'm not sure how much I can say yet, but it's pretty open ended....meaning that I get to explore the city to find the best fashion stories. It's just a side, freelance gig, but it's pretty amazing getting paid to do something I wanted to do anyway.

So there you have it. This was essentially a love letter to Grand Rapids. But it's important to love where you live, isn't it?

Saturday, July 14, 2012

We are the tide

dress: Dethrose Vintage | belt: vintage | shoes: Goodwill

Have you ever accidentally forgotten about one of your favorite items of clothing? Oddly, that has happened with me and this dress recently. I bought it last summer and it instantly became one of the most beloved items in my closet. The color is one of my favorite shades of blue, the fit is flattering, and the length is perfect. After I first bought it, I had to restrain myself from wearing it every day of the week. I wore it to a wedding, to the beach, to work...anywhere, everywhere.

And then, after months of wearing it almost nonstop, it's like it became invisible in my closet. My eyes glossed over it. I don't know why, exactly. But last week, I rediscovered it - and the reunion has been a wonderful one. When I put it on, I remembered the lovely embroidered details, the comfortable fit, and most important of all, how happy I feel when I wear it. Hello, old friend!

These days, life is so good that my cheeks often hurt from smiling. I'll save most of my gushing for my next post, but trust me, good things are coming. One awesome thing: I got a new lens for my camera, finally! Chris has been bugging me for months to get a 50mm fixed lens, and I finally did it. I'm not sure why I waited, but I got a really great deal. Some of the photos from this post were taken with it. I'm super happy with the results (Chris does a great job!) and I can't wait to experiment more with it.

Also, this may not sound like the most exciting thing in the world, but I'm getting really close to having my student loans all paid off - and though they weren't outrageous to begin with, it will still be a huge weight off my shoulders. It's unreal to think that that chapter of my life will be behind me pretty soon. No's an exciting prospect! I can't wait to see where life takes me in these next few months and beyond.

One change that being debt-free will bring is that I will finally be able to look for a place to live. Living with my parents has been great, don't get me wrong - and it's been a huge help not having to pay much in rent - but I'm looking forward to having a place I can call my own. One that's closer to my favorite coffee shop (the Sparrows), I hope.

Grand Rapids, here I come!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Guest post at Missing Lovebirds!

Hello all! It was a busy weekend and I have a busy week ahead (a writing workshop and a friend's film premiere, among other things) but I wanted to make sure that you didn't miss out on the guest post I did for Elanor's lovely blog while she's on vacation. I decided to share a recipe that I like to call the "chatwich." It's delicious, and even better, it's really simple. Click on the image above to see it!

Also coming very soon (hopefully, hopefully): the long-awaited redesign of the blog. The header is finished and I can't wait to share it with you all!

I hope you are all having a wonderful start to your week. Do you have anything fun planned?

Thursday, July 5, 2012

More adventurous

dress (worn as top), skirt: Forever 21 | belt: vintage | shoes: thrifted

Happy belated Fourth of July, American readers! This outfit ended up being kind of Fourth-of-July inspired, though it wasn't intentional, as this outfit is from several days ago. (Admittedly, I did recycle a version of this outfit for the actual holiday yesterday.) 

My Fourth was wonderfully low-key. I'll spare you the details of how hot it's been in Michigan - let's just say we're setting records - and because of the heat, Chris and I mostly stayed inside and were productive. It may not sound like the most fun way to spend a day off, but we had a great time! During breaks we ate good food and drank Summer Shandy and watched Pushing Daisies, all in the comfort of my air-conditioned house. He worked on his art, and we both worked on taking and editing pictures for a guest post I'm doing for Elanor's lovely blog, which will go up Saturday. I am so excited to share it with you! I won't tell you what it is, exactly, but I will tell you that it's food related...

Remember in my last post when I mentioned how hopeless I am at doing my hair? Well, I am setting out to conquer that particular stylistic weakness. It's a little bit tough - I absolutely hate the feeling of having hairspray in my hair (I don't even own any) and most tutorials call for lots of it. I'm still a long way away from my loose inspiration for this hairstyle/outfit. But I've had some good results, and have even been able to find some ways to work around my aversion to hairspray. This hairstyle was surprisingly easy, even if the bouffant is the world's smallest. Still, I'm wondering if there are tons of super-easy tutorials out there I've been missing out on. I'll have to investigate; it's time I got more adventurous!

I learned a few things during this photoshoot. #1:

You're never too mature to take ridiculous jumping pictures. 


Twirling is a must in any skirt that's not skin-tight. 

And #3:

John Lennon sunglasses are always appropriate, no matter the occasion.

American readers, I hope you enjoyed your holiday - did you do anything special? Everyone else - I hope you've been able to stay cool!