Monday, September 15, 2014

Style Remix: Waterloo Blue Print Sleeveless Blouse + Neon Shorts

This past weekend was probably Seattle's last warm weekend for the year, with sunshine and perfect temperatures in the mid to upper 80's.  We couldn't have asked for better weather to celebrate my boyfriend's niece's first birthday at Gasworks Park.  Gasworks Park is a large public park (20 acres) on the north end of Lake Union with a unique history.  It was formerly the site of the Seattle Gas Light Company's gasification plant for converting coal to gas, and the old equipment still stands in the park.  Today Gasworks Park is a popular spot for Seattle residents to soak up the sun, fly kites, and watch Fourth of July fireworks.  I styled my sleeveless sailboat print blouse (previously seen here) with neon yellow shorts, flat gladiator sandals, my trusty bucket bag, minimal gold jewelry, and aviators for our afternoon in the park.

 Blouse: Target (no longer available), alternate color Merona "Women's Sleeveless Button Down Blouse" in pristine green print, $16.98 (on clearance!) at Target here
Shorts: J Crew factory, check out sale prices of $24.50-$29.50 on current colors here 
Sandals: DV by Dolce Vita (old), I'm loving the Dolce Vita "Fray Gladiator Sandal" in caramel (also available in black), $64.50 (50% off!) at Shopbop here
Bucket Bag: Banana Republic (no longer available), check out the Liz Claiborne "Crossbody Bucket Bag" in dark brown (also available in three other colors), $40.99 (on sale!) at JC Penney here
Sunglasses: Michael Michael Kors "Sicily 59mm Metal Aviator Sunglasses in dune, $99 at Nordstrom here
Watch: Marc by Marc Jacobs "Henry" in gold, $250 at Nordstrom here 
Necklace: Loft (old), similar "Long Pendant Necklace" in gold, $34.50 (40% off using code FALLSTYLE) at Loft here

This time of the year is the perfect opportunity to pick up summer pieces at a fraction of their original prices and store them away for next year (or save for winter travel to a warm & sunny destination).  Check out my end of summer sale picks below, all priced at 30% off or more:

Left: Dolce Vita "Fray Gladiator Sandal" in light gold embossed leather, most sizes available for $38.70 (70% off!) at Amazon here
Middle: Kate Spade New York "Catherine Street Pippa" Satchel in fresh white/ostrich egg, $249.99 (37% off!) at Amazon here 
Right: Bop Basics "Raffia Flat Top Crochet Sun Hat" in natural (also available in tobacco), $68.60 (30% off) at Shopbop here 

What end of summer steals have you picked up recently?  Thanks so much for visiting my blog today, and I hope you have a fantastic week! 

Linking up with Rhea, Et CeteraMore Pieces of Me, and On the Daily Express.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Style Remix: Cobalt Blazer & Pumps

It's been a while since this bright blazer and pumps have been featured here on the blog (previous pairing was with coated denim here), but fall is the perfect time to bring them back out for a spin.  I styled today's outfit for the office by pairing these bright pieces with a floral print silk top, skinny jeans, and a statement necklace.  I'm lucky to work in a business casual office (well, let's be real, Seattle is not a formal city) and can wear a blazer, skinny jeans, and pumps pretty much any day of the week.  This outfit combination is always a winner, and having a few color variations of these key pieces makes it super easy to get dressed in the morning.  This outfit can definitely take you from day to night, as it's also perfect for a dinner date or a night out.

Blazer: Tinley Road via Piperlime (old), similar "Tiffany Premium Blazer" in cobalt, $51.28 at Missguided here
Pumps: Chinese Laundry (old), check out the Steven by Steve Madden "Distant Pump" in cobalt, $89.95 at DSW here 
Top: Purchased in Hong Kong, I'm loving the print on this "Floral Print Backless Loose T-shirt," $19.99 at Romwe here 
Skinny Jeans: J Brand via Nordstrom Rack, check out the J Brand "620 Skinny Jeans" in darkness, $148.74 (on sale!) at Nordstrom here 
 Necklace: "Crystal Bib Necklace," gold/clear still available for $38.98 (50% off!) at Nordstrom here
Watch: Marc by Marc Jacobs "Blade Crystal Index Watch," silver available for $225 at Nordstrom here
Rings: Baublebar, similar Giani Bernini "Band Ring" in sterling silver, $45 at Macys' here

I love that bright cobalt is one of the pantone colors for fall 2014, maintaining popularity.  Check out my picks for cobalt pieces below, all perfect for fall and priced under $100:

Left: 7 For All Mankind "The Skinny" in cobalt blue plaid, $89.99 (on sale!) at here
Middle: "Cobalt Faux Wool Biker" Coat, $88 (on sale!) at Wallis here
Right: Grace Hats "Shag Floppy Hat" in cobalt wool, $35 (on sale) at Bluefly here

How would you style cobalt pieces this fall?  Thank you for visiting my blog today, and I hope you have a great rest of your week!

Linking up with Agi at Vodka Infused Lemonade, Tara at Mix & Match Fashion, Alice at Happiness at Mid-Life, and Lauren at Style Elixir.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Layered Cropped Sweater + Blouse

If you've been following me for a little while, you've already heard me talk about how much I love fall layers and look forward to cooling temperatures this time of year.  Last week, we had a few days of fall-like weather here in Seattle that gave me a chance to start putting outfits together.  I previously styled this black cropped sweater over a maxi dress here, and today I want to show you that with the right layers the same sweater can be appropriate for a casual to business casual office.  I layered this cropped sweater over an untucked white sleeveless blouse with black piping for full tummy coverage (untucked helps make my torso look longer).  Then I added olive skinny cargo pants, leopard pumps, a blingy statement necklace, silver jewelry, and two different bag options for a day to night look.  The tote is perfect to transport my laptop to work in the morning, and can be swapped out for the clutch after office hours.

 Sweater: "Cropped Mixed Stitch Crew Neck Sweater" in black, XS left + all sizes in cobalt for $19.99 (on sale!) at Express here
Blouse: "Factory Tipped Draped Tank" in white/black, navy/green still available for $29.50 at J Crew Factory here
Cargos: J Brand (old), current "1348 Kassidy" in vintage olive, $231 at J Brand Jeans here
Pumps: Halogen "Marlie Calf Hair Pointy Toe Pump" in tan leopard print (runs large, size down!), $89.95 at Nordstrom here 
Necklace: "Crystal Bib Necklace" in silver/clear, $46.80 (40% off!) at Nordstrom here
Rings: Baublebar/H&M, similar Leith "Thick Band Ring" in gunmetal, $18 at Nordstrom here and "Pyramid Midi Ring" in silver, $22 at Baublebar here
Watch: Marc by Marc Jacobs "Blade" watch in gunmetal/silver, silver available for $225 at Dillard's here or check out the rose gold version here
Clutch: Koret New York (no longer available), similar Koret New York "Ori Clutch" in black, $286.40 (on sale!) at Shopbop here 
Tote c/o Conversation Pieces: "Perfect Everyday Glamour Tote" in tan, beige still available for $54 here

The easiest way to achieve this layered look is to purchase a sweater & blouse combo that is already stitched together!  Check out these layered sweaters, all reasonably priced under $80:

 Left: "Sheer Floral Inset Sweater" in oatmeal (also available in deep teal, lilac, and black), $41.96 (30% off!) at The Limited here
Middle: "Cheetah Print Layered Sweater" in black, $79 at Ann Taylor here 
Right: RD Style "Mock Layered Sweater" in glacier grey (also available in black and pumice stone), $68 at Nordstrom here

Or, you can easily create your own layered look.  Check out my picks for cropped sweaters below, perfect to add your favorite blouse underneath and all under $70:

Left: "Chenille Crop Sweater" in dusty pink (blush is the color this fall), $68 at Topshop here
Middle: Olive & Oak "Textured Crop Sweater" in black/white, $69 at Piperlime here
Right: "Classic Cropped Sweater" in cream (also available in black), $15.80 at Forever 21 here

How would you style a cropped sweater and blouse this fall?  Thank you for visiting my blog today, and I hope you have a great week!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Floral Peplum + Brights

Happy Seahawks season opener game day, everyone!  As you can imagine, the city of Seattle is going nuts today (RVs were lining up around the stadium yesterday afternoon) and tailgating was already in full swing at 6:45am this morning when I came to work.  It's going to be a crazy day for sure, but it's great to see everyone so excited for our home team.  I did not style a Seahawks blue & green outfit today, but I am brightening things up with this floral peplum top and coordinating pieces.  Florals and brights were on trend this summer, and I'm seeing both trends continue on fall must-have lists.  I'm happy to see bright colors maintain popularity this fall, partly because of the bag in today's outfit.  If you follow me on Instagram, you've already seen this beautiful yellow crocodile print Koret "Ori" satchel, a recent addition to my closet thanks to a very dear friend.  This bag is such a gorgeous statement piece, and I will be happily toting it this fall and beyond.  For today's cheerful work outfit, I paired this floral peplum top and yellow satchel with a cobalt blue pencil skirt, yellow ankle strap pumps, and simple gold jewelry.  I don't know about you, but wearing bright colors like these always puts me in a good mood!

Bag: Koret New York "Ori Satchel" in yellow crocodile, sold out online but Shopbop has pink available for $382.40 here, black available for $382.40 here, and black/tan available for $239 (50% off) here
Top: "Floral Peplum Top" in multi, $40.63 (on sale!) at Asos here 
Skirt: Banana Republic (old), similar "Sloan Pencil Skirt" in true blue, $79.50 at Banana Republic here 
Pumps: Luichiny "Lawrence Pump" in yellow (also available in coral), $39.94 at DSW here
Watch: Marc by Marc Jacobs "Henry" in gold, $250 at Nordstrom here
Rings: Forever 21 (old), check out the "Geo Cutout Ring Set, $5.80 at Forever 21 here and the "Abstract Angular Midi Ring Set" in gold/gold, $2.90 at Forever 21 here

Florals can be worn any time of the year, and there are plenty of gorgeous options this fall.  I'm still a huge fan of flattering peplum shapes.  Check out my picks for floral peplum tops at wallet-friendly prices in lovely fall hues:

Left: "Floral Peplum Top With Seam Detail in Scuba" in multi, $61.91 at Asos here
Middle: "Floral Peplum Top" in stormy grey (also available in petite!), $49.99 (on sale + additional 40% off for a limited time!) at Loft here
Right: "Floral Print Peplum Top" in green/red, $19.80 at Forever 21 here

If you're in the market for a bright bag at end-of-season prices, check out my picks under $100 below:

Left: Koret New York "Ori Flat Shoulder Bag" in yellow, $99 (50% off!) at Shopbop here
Middle: "Flap Crossbody" in fuschia (available in 3 other colors), $78 at Vera Bradley here
Right: Danielle Nicole "Cari Satchel Bag" in cobalt, $98 at Nieman Marcus here

 How would you style florals and bright colors this fall?  Thanks so much for visiting my blog today, and I hope you have a great rest of your week!  Go Hawks!

Linking up with Agi at Vodka Infused Lemonade, Tara at Mix & Match Fashion, and Lauren at Style Elixir!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Foodie Review: El Quim, La Boqueria, Barcelona, Spain

Today I'd like to share with you one final post from our recent Spain trip detailing our amazing lunch at El Quim in La Boqueria.  If you missed any of my Spain posts, you can check out all six here or by filtering for "Spain" in my labels (located in my sidebar).  El Quim is a restaurant that we saw endorsed by Anthony Bourdain, as well as being highly rated on both Yelp and Tripadvisor.  It's located inside of La Boqueria, the large open market off La Rambla in Barcelona (to learn more about La Boqueria, check out my revious post on the market here).  El Quim is a small restaurant with a bar wrapping around three sides of the kitchen.  Go early for the shortest wait, but even if there is a line don't be too worried.  The kitchen whips out dishes quickly, turning diners at a reasonable rate because this team knows what they are doing.  Ordering is easy: you can get a paper English menu, check the boxes of the items you want, and then wait for the dishes to start being passed over.  Please scroll through for photos and more details on the delectable dishes we enjoyed at El Quim.

This first dish I'm showing you was the richest dish by far: sauteed wild mushrooms with caramelized fois gras and a fried egg.  Because fois is currently illegal to serve in California, our friends from San Francisco were in heaven on this trip.

Shrimp (aka gambas) in garlic with cava reduction, one of El Quim's specialties.

Acorn fed ham (aka jamon) with potatoes and fried egg, a quintessential breakfast/brunch dish.

Grilled baby squid, very simply prepared but so fresh and tasty.

Steamed clams in white wine sauce.

Bulls' tail risotto, my favorite dish if I had to choose.  The rich, creamy sauce and tender bites of oxtail were irresistible--we ordered two of these dishes because the first one disappeared so fast!

Giant grilled prawns, with tripe in the bottom corner.  Another simply cooked dish, but so fresh and delicious.

Wagyu beef tartar, another one of El Quim's specialties and definitely one of the most photogenic.

Finally, a photo of part of our happy group, food in hand and sitting at the bar.  Every dish we enjoyed at El Quim was delicious, and I will definitely return when I have the opportunity to visit Barcelona again.  I hope you enjoyed these photos, and please do reach out if you would like recommendations or more information on Barcelona or Pamplona.  Thanks so much for visiting my blog today, and I hope you have a great week!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Traveling the World: Park Güell, Barcelona, Spain

 I hope you aren't getting tired of my Spain travel posts yet, because I have a couple more in the queue.  It's not my fault, Barcelona is such a beautiful city with amazing architecture that I had too many good photos for just one post.  Today I'd like to talk a bit about Park Güell, one of Barcelona's most famous landmarks located on a hill in the Gràcia district of Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. Park Güell was designed by Antoni Gaudí, the famous Catalan architect, and built over a four year span from 1900 to 1914.  I learned that Park Güell was originally intended to be a luxury housing development with sixty homes, but that plan never came to fruition because there wasn't enough interest at that time.  Only two homes were ever built (one that Gaudi purchased and lived in with his family that is now a museum), as well as walkways, stairways, a covered market area, and a central terrace.  I could definitely see the appeal to living on this hill with beautiful views of the city and the Mediterranean Sea, within Gaudi's uniquely designed village.  Please scroll through for more photos and detail, and you will see what I mean.

Hat c/o Conversation Pieces, similar "Excursion Sun Hat," $16 at Conversation Pieces here
Tank: "Sleeveless Top" in light yellow (also available in 3 other colors), $12.95 at H&M here
Shorts: "Denim Shorts" in light denim blue, $9.95 at H&M here
Sandals: Charles by Charles David (no longer available online), similar Sam Edelman "Trina" sandal in whiskey, $50.67 (on sale!) at Amazon here
Bucket Bag: Banana Republic (no longer available), I'm loving this Kelsi Dagger Brooklyn "Wythe Bucket Bag" in brown, $188 at Urban Outfitters here
Sunglasses: old, check out these Kate Spade New York "Halsey 57mm Polarized Sunglasses" in tortoise/brown polar, $165 at Nordstrom here

These first two photos were taken in the Sala Hipóstila (aka the Doric Temple), a market area made up of 88 stone columns that are situated underneath and support the central terrace within the park (you'll see the central terrace a bit later on).  I just loved the way the light came through the rows of columns and made it such a photogenic spot.

We neglected to purchase our park tickets prior to showing up at the park (if you go I recommend purchasing in advance online!), so we had about 2.5 hours to kill prior to entry.  We did find a little cafe on site where we enjoyed pitchers of sangria, but then we wandered around the grounds taking goofy photos like this one because...why not?  These are stone columns that are designed to look like palm tree trunks along a covered path.

Once officially inside Park Güell, we first headed to "El Drac" (the dragon) by the main entrance.  This mosaic salamander is a famous staple piece of the park that was unfortunately vandalized in 2007, but has been fully restored to its colorful self.  He guards the fountain and you can find mini "El Drac" souvenirs pretty much everywhere in the city if you want to take your own version home.  It's hard to walk by without giving this friendly looking lizard a little pat.

As you can tell, these girls are so much fun to travel with and always down for a goofy photo.  These are the stone columns within the Sala Hipóstila again, just up the stairs from El Drac.  In this photo you can get an idea of how big the market was intended to be, as well as see a bit of the mosaic ceiling.

I had to post a closeup photo of the mosaic ceiling of Sala Hipóstila, so that you can see the amazing level of detail in this park.  The bright colors are just so gorgeous together, and I can only imagine how vibrant this spot would be if it were a live market.

Next we walked up the stairs to the central terrace (Gran Placa Circular), and this photo was taken from the stairs looking up at the low wall surrounding the central terrace and forming the back of a large bench (Banc de Trencadís).  The outside and inside both have their own intricate patterns, both containing elements of nature in their designs.

This is the same spot on the terrace as the last photo, but from the inside.  It shows the different mosaic patterns on the inside of the wall that makes up the back of the Banc de Trencadís.  This bench stretches around the entire terrace and is surprisingly comfortable to sit on!  I read that Gaudi actually had a laborer sit in a plaster mold in order to get the right ergonomic angle for a comfortable seat.  How neat is that if it's true?

This is my dear friend Allie, she practices jumping shots regularly...can you tell?  Look at that pose!  There was quite a bit of room on the Gran Placa Circular, as most people were centralized in one section of the Banc de Trencadís with a great view, so we took a bunch of jumping shots.  Allie's, of course, was the best one.

These two buildings are situated at the main entrance of the park, so looking down from the central terrace and imagine the stairs with El Drac sitting below the frame of this photo leading down to the main entrance.  The buildings are used as an administration building and a gatehouse, and look like they could be straight out of a Grimm fairy tale.

Back at the entrance of the park, here we are standing in between the buildings you just saw above.  El Drac, the Sala Hipóstila, and the Gran Placa Circular are behind and above us.  Every part of this park is so photogenic!

Finally, I want you to see the view from the top of the park looking over the Gran Placa Circular toward the Mediterranean Sea.  You can see Sagrada Familia with its construction cranes in the middle as well.  This photo gives you a sense of how far up Park Güell is situated, and shows why it has such amazing views.

I hope you enjoyed this photo tour of Park Güell in Barcelona, and that it inspires you to explore a new place this Labor Day holiday weekend.  Enjoy your long weekend, and thank you for visiting my blog!

Linking up with Tara at Mix & Match Fashion.
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