Monday, September 29, 2014

Fall Florals

There is no doubt that florals are a huge trend this fall, and I'm currently loving dark floral patterns like this lovely hi-low top c/o Conversation Pieces Boutique.  This black and blue combo is subtle but so pretty, and easy to dress up or down.  I really like how the back is mostly black with just a floral hem, so it almost looks like two tops in one.  For today's casual outfit, I paired this floral top with coated J Brand skinnies, black patent pumps, wine lips, and my bright turquoise Mini Mac for a pop of color.  I also added my denim jacket as an option for an extra layer as the weather cools.  This outfit would be great for a casual dinner date, a concert, and more.

Top c/o Conversation Pieces: "Easy Peasy Floral Pullover" in black (also available in grey), $29 here
Coated Denim: J Brand (old), similar J Brand "23110 High Rise Coated Jeans" in fearless, $244 at Shopbop here
Denim Jacket: "The Jean Jacket" in storm cloud wash, $118 at Madewell here
Pumps: old, similar Topshop 'Gallop' Patent Pointy Toe Pump in black, (also available in camel and red), $95 at Nordstrom here
Mini Bag: Rebecca Minkoff "Mini Mac" in turquoise, see current Rebecca Minkoff "Five-Zip Mini Crossbody Bag" in bright blue, $195 at Nieman Marcus here
Watch: Marc by Marc Jacobs "Blade Crystal Index Watch" in silver, $225 at Nordstrom here
Bracelet/Rings: old, currently loving the "Crystal Mason Ring" in hematite, $28 at Baublebar here and the Leith "Statement Rings" in silver, $24 at Nordstrom here

Check out these additional fall-perfect floral pieces, all under $30 at Conversation Pieces:

Left: "Overtime Statement Necklace," $26 here
Middle: "Easy Peasy Floral Cardigan" in black, $29 here
Right: "Easy Peasy Floral Pullover" in grey, $29 here

I've collected more of my favorite fall floral pieces in the widget below, all currently available online and priced at $100 or less (scroll right to see more):
How would you style floral pieces this fall?  Thank you for visiting my blog today, and I hope you have a great week!

Linking up with Rhea, Et Cetera and More Pieces of Me.

Financial compensation was not received for this post. Product was provided free of charge from Conversation Pieces Boutique, but the opinions expressed here are my own.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Foodie Review: Trove Restaurant

I mentioned last weekend that my boyfriend and I have a hard time keeping up with restaurant openings and closings in Seattle, and that I'm trying to be better about blogging our restaurant visits.  Today, I am excited to tell you about a brand new Korean BBQ restaurant called Trove in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle.  Trove is owned by husband-wife team Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi, the team behind established restaurants Joule and Revel in our Fremont neighborhood.  A KBBQ restaurant is something that downtown Seattle has been missing, so we were very excited to try this new place last weekend when we had a dear friend in town.  In addition to KBBQ, Trove also has a noodle bar, a full bar that also serves the noodle dishes, and a walk up ice cream truck window.  It's four places in one!  Please read on for photos and details of our meal.

When we arrived shortly after 7pm last Saturday evening, we were told there would be a forty minute wait.  No big deal, we put our name in and headed to the bar for a drink.  The bar also serves noodles, and had I known that the back KBBQ section didn't serve the noodle menu I would have ordered a dish while we were waiting for our table.  The noodles looked really good, so next time I'll definitely try them out.

My handsome dates for the evening!  I'm a bit biased, but I definitely had the best looking table of the night.  We hung out at the bar for about an hour and a half before our table was ready, which was almost twice the initial wait time we were given.  Because this restaurant is new, I'm attributing the incorrect wait time to ramp up, and I'm sure they will get their turn times figured out soon.

 We were starving by the time we finally got our table, so I quickly ordered some appetizers to hold us over until the meat arrived.  This is octopus with white bean, kale, and miso.  The flavors were fantastic - I wish the dish had been larger!

The second appetizer we ordered: swiss chard with hazelnut pesto.  I loved this dish and almost ordered a second.  At the existing appetizer size, it's a few decent bites each for two people, or one good sized bite each for four people.  I also ordered a pork belly appetizer, but that dish disappeared faster than I could get a photo!

Unlike other Korean BBQ restaurants, Trove does charge separately for your banchan and rice.  Banchan (on the left) is $6 each and contains kimchi, pickled and preserved vegetablesThey also have ssam (on the right) with lettuce, herbs, and daikon for $3.  Rice is an additional $2 per bowl.

Now we get to the meat.  At Trove, you can order separate plates of meat or you can order a "meat tower." Because there were four of us, we ordered the "baller tower" that has every kind of meat available.  This included four types of beef, four types of pork, shrimp, veggies, and mushrooms.  The beef selection included hangar steak with bean paste, wagyu chuck tail with garlic smear, grass fed coulotte with chipotle salt, and fatty brisket. The pork selection included coppa with sweet chili,
pork belly with sesame salt, short rib with mustard maple, and pork loin in kasu.

Our "baller tower" also included a second set of trays with white gulf shrimp, shitake mushrooms with garam masala, eggplant with miso cumin, and chinese broccoli with smoked chili.

Each table has a gas grill typical of kbbq restaurants, but one interesting difference was that the wait staff offered to swap out our metal grill several times.  I didn't think it was necessary, but I understand the staff wanting to keep the look clean and the amount of smoke from the grills to a minimum in the space.  Overall the grills were hot and effective, and we had lots of tasty meats to share.

For dessert, Trove has a selection of parfaits served in mason jars.  You can also walk up to the "ice cream truck" window at the entrance and directly order parfaits.  We tried both the "old school" and "new school" snickers parfaits.  The "new school" snickers parfait contained black sesame cake, miso caramel, and candied peanuts.  The "old school" snickers parfair contained peanut butter nougat, caramel peanut, and dark chocolate sauce.  Both were a delicious end to our meal, and I couldn't pick a favorite between the two.

I hope you enjoyed these photos and descriptions of our meal at Trove!  It's so exciting to have a Korean BBQ restaurant close by, because there are times that we will pay the extra $$ to eat a few minutes from home rather than drive 30+ minutes outside the city for our KBBQ fix.  If you'd like to read more about Trove, their website is:  Thank you for visiting my blog today, and I hope you have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

DVF Dress + Ted Baker Clutch + Printed Pumps

If you have been following me for a while, you first saw a peek of this dress Memorial Day weekend on Instagram when I scored it at a Diane von Furstenberg sample sale in New York.  You then would have seen another peek in last month's Foodie Review: El Celler de Can Roca, Girona, Spain post when I detailed our amazing meal.  Today is the day that this beautiful DVF dress finally gets its own post and the attention it deserves.  It is a lovely "Tiffany blue" silk crepe material, with a flattering belted waist and perfectly sized pockets.  I paired this gorgeous dress with printed pumps, my Ted Baker bow clutch (scored at the Nordstrom anniversary sale), and layered necklaces recently for a dinner date in Portland.  That particular weekend, it was 95 degrees in Portland and still felt very much like summer.  I think this outfit would be perfect to wear to a sunny destination wedding this winter, in addition to a spring/summer wedding, garden party, and more.  It's a pretty good bet that you will be seeing me in this outfit again!

Dress: Diane Von Furstenberg via 260 Sample Sale in Midtown, NYC
Clutch: Ted Baker London via Nordstrom, similar Ted Baker London "Bow Flap Clutch" in dusty pink (also available in bright blue), $150 at Nordstrom here
Pumps: Joe's Jeans "Erika II Dress Pump" in multi, $40.56 (on sale!) at Amazon here 
Necklaces: Baublebar/H&M, currently loving the "Opal Signet Collar Necklace," $44 at Baublebar here
Watch: Marc by Marc Jacobs "Henry" in gold, $250 at Nordstrom here
Ring: H&M, check out the "Crystal Parallel Ring" in gold, $28 at Baublebar here  

Since I brought up the topic of weddings, let's talk about seasonal wedding guest attire.  I know that some of you out there have fall and winter weddings to attend, and there are some gorgeous pieces currently available in stores and online.  Check out my wedding guest dress picks in fall and winter hues, all priced under $150:
What style of dress would you pick to wear to a fall or winter wedding?  Thank you for visiting my blog today, and I hope you have a great rest of your week!

Linking up with Vodka Infused LemonadeHappiness at Mid-LifeSincerely Jenna Marie.  

Monday, September 22, 2014

Denim Pencil Skirt

I am 100% on board with bringing back the denim pencil skirt this fall.  Who's with me?  This Hudson Jeans denim skirt has been in my closet for many years now, and although I thought about donating it several times I never pulled the trigger.  I kept telling myself that it was a basic piece, and that I would find a reason to wear it again.  Fast forward to now, and I am once again seeing denim skirts in all of my favorite stores and on many of my favorite bloggers.  For today's early fall outfit, I paired this denim pencil skirt with a white short-sleeved silk blouse (last seen paired with flared denim and a long cardigan here), leopard pumps, gold jewelry, and my staple work tote (c/o Conversation Pieces Boutique) for the office.  The tote can easily be swapped out for a clutch after office-hours, and I've shown that option below as well.  This outfit is perfect while the weather is still warm, and when the temperatures get cooler I will be exchanging the pumps for boots and adding a cozy vest.  I think a fur or faux-fur vest would look fabulous!

Skirt: Hudson Jeans (old)
Blouse: Banana Republic (old), similar "White Silk Utility Blouse" (available in petite and tall!), $49.99 (on sale!) at Banana republic here
Pumps: Halogen "Marlie Calf Hair Pointy Toe Pump" in tan leopard print, see available colors for $89.95 at Nordstrom here or similar Sam Edelman "Opal d'Orsay Pump" in new nude leopard, $130 at Dillard's here
Tote c/o Conversation Pieces Boutique: "Perfect Everyday Glamour Tote" in tan, beige still available for $54 here
Clutch: Calvin Klein via Nordstrom Rack, check out the Calvin Klein "Modena Saffiano Clutch" in nude, $125.99 (on sale!) at Macys here
Watch: Marc by Marc Jacobs "Henry" in gold, $250 at Nordstrom here 
Bracelet c/o Conversation Pieces Boutique: old, similar "Leather and Metal Bracelet" in cognac, $24.95 at Sole Society here
Rings: H&M/Nordstrom Rack, currently loving Baublebar's "Crystal Mason Ring" in gold, $28 here and "Crystal Negative Space Ring," $28 here

There are so many great denim pencil skirt options available right now, and in a range of pricepoints to suit any budget.  First, check out my picks for denim pencil skirts that are perfect for fall and priced in the $60-70 range.  I'm using a Shopstyle widget below, so the photos are now clickable and I think it looks much cleaner.

Then, for a real steal, check out these denim pencil skirt picks under $30 (photos are now clickable):

How would you style a denim pencil skirt this fall?  Thank you for visiting my blog today, and I hope you have a fantastic week!

Linking up with Rhea, Et Cetera, More Pieces of Me, and Style Elixir.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Foodie Review: Rione XIII

My boyfriend and I regularly talk about how it's hard to keep track of restaurants here in Seattle.  There are so many openings (and closings) every month that we have a seemingly endless list of restaurants we want to try.  I'm trying to be better about taking photos when we eat out, so that I can create weekend foodie review posts for those of you who are interested in the Seattle restaurant scene.  Today's featured restaurant is Rione XIII, opened in late 2012 by chef Ethan Stowell.  Rione XIII was inspired by Trastevere, the 13th district of Rome that holds medieval houses, cobblestone streets, and loads of character.  Some say it's the best district to eat in Rome, and although I have not yet been I did very much enjoy our meal.  Please read on for details of the dishes we enjoyed.

Suppli al Telefono: Fried Risotto, Beef Ragu, Mozzarella.

 Oxtails alla Vaccinara: Creamy Polenta, Tomato, Oregano

  Another view of the oxtail, it was so tender and delicious!

Tonnarelli Cacio e Pepe: Black Pepper, Pecorino Romano. A staple!

 Bucatini Amatriciana: Guanciale, Garlic, Chili, Tomato

 Dessert special: Pistachio Cannelloni.  This one wasn't on the menu, but we have the server our feedback that it should be!


Ethan Stowell is a household name here in Seattle, and Rione XIII is a great addition to his restaurant empire and the Capital Hill neighborhood.  I'd go back and eat again at some point this winter for more of this tasty comfort food. Thank you for visiting my blog today, and I hope you have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Luxe Sweatshirt

I was skeptical when I first saw the luxe sweatshirt trend last fall, because in the past sweatshirts made me think only of early morning classes, weekend errand-running, or the gym.  I wasn't sure that I could get on board with a luxe version of this casual staple, but then I started to see versions with different fabrics and textures catch my eye.  When Conversation Pieces Boutique sent me this fall-perfect windowpane plaid version, I fell in love with the pattern and super soft chevron texture (you can see a close-up of the front texture in the last photo below).  My challenge to myself was to create a dressy outfit with this piece, and prove that a luxe sweatshirt can be more than just a casual weekend item.  This is what I came up with for an outfit pairing: a red fluted skirt, booties, a statement necklace, and red lips for date night.  I can also see myself pairing this luxe sweatshirt with skinnies, over-the-knee boots, and a leather jacket when the temperatures drop.

 Sweatshirt c/o Conversation Pieces: "Criss Cross My Heart Sweater" in grey (also available in black), $34 here
Skirt: J Crew (no longer available), see similar "Plaza Skirt" in crimson maple crepe, $79.99 (on sale!) at J Crew here
Booties: Halogen via Nordstrom (few sizes left for $49.97 here), check out the new Halogen "Riley Open Toe Bootie" in black (also available in burgundy & chocolate), $109.95 at Nordstrom here
Necklace: Baublebar (old), currently loving the "Onyx Baroque Bib," $58 at Baublebar here
Watch: Karl Lagerfeld "7 Faceted Bezel Bracelet Watch, 44mm" in black, $250 at Nordstrom here
Ring: old, loving this Kenneth Jay Lane "Ruby Crystal Ring," $130 at Lane Crawford here
Clutch: Koret New York (old), check out the current Koret "Ori Clutch" in black, $286.40 (20% off) at Shopbop here

I am loving all of the luxe sweatshirt options currently available in stores, especially ones with feminine touches.  Check out my picks below, all priced at $64 or less:

Left: "Gold Heart Sweatshirt" in heather graphite, $59.50 (25% off with code SHOPFORFALL) at J Crew here
Middle: "Embellished Sweatshirt Tee" in heather grey medium, $25 (54% off!) at Loft here
Right: Glamorous "Floral Print Sweatshirt" in grey/white floral, $64 at Piperlime here

Also, check out my picks for cozy, fall-perfect pullovers currently available at Conversation Pieces Boutique:

Left: "Go With The Flow Pullover" in oatmeal (also available in charcoal), $34 here
Middle: "Snuggle Up Drape Knit," $33 here
Right: "Cross My Heart Pullover," $34 here

 How would you style a luxe sweatshirt 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, Alice at Happiness at Mid-Life, and Tara at Mix & Match Fashion

Financial compensation was not received for this post. Product was provided free of charge from Conversation Pieces Boutique, but the opinions expressed here are my own.

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.
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