Blue Ridge Parkway, VA

September's Grace

I barely made it, but I finally saw The September Issue in the actual month of September.

As a conspiracy theorist I walked away thinking that Vogue actually bank rolled the whole film to drive business to their faltering pubication, but it was fabulous nonetheless. But not nearly as fabulous as Grace Coddington, Vogue's Creative Director. Maybe it was because she stands up to Anna (
and wins!) or that she entered this career because of a tragic accident that left her unable to model. But mostly I admire her perspective: her passion for composition, her appreciation of her surroundings and her respect for both the inspiration and the model (even the camera man turned model). Those were the thing that were most "exposed". For me, Anna turned out to be but a blip on the radar - the calculating powerhouse who drives fashion (which we already knew), while Grace revealed herself as the reason why I only look at the pictures.

photo courtesy of Huffington Post



Washington, DC

Oh my Darlin' Clementine

(now see if you can get that song out of your head...)

Clementine Hunter (1986/87-1988), cotton sharecropper and self taught folk artist who is said to have produced nearly 5,000 works of art on canvases, old window shades, bottles, cardboard and brown paper bags, captured a little slice of Louisiana like no one has since. She was keenly aware of her surroundings, and profoundly influenced her faith, all of which melded together like a storybook:

photo courtesy of Garden & Gun Magazine

When you make it down to New Orleans, be sure to visit her collection at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art.



Sacré-Coeur Basilica, Paris


America the beautiful

I hope you caught the buzz around Ken Burns documentary series, "The National Parks: America's Best Idea", on PBS. Tune in tonight for the premier.

I'm longing for a RV and a break from the daily grind to explore and appreciate everything our national parks have to offer.
Don't we live in a lovely world!

photo courtesy of the Library of Congress


Texas bound

Since everything's bigger in Texas, I'm packing my big hair and dancing shoes. Enjoy the posts I've schedule while I'm away, and I'll catch up with you on Tuesday...


Washington, DC


Great Gatsby Moment

Did you know that writer F. Scott Fitzgerald, author of the classic American novel The Great Gatsby, was born on this very day, the 24th of September, back in 1896? The things you learn when you're a Hill nerd and spend your day on websites like the Library of Congress...

The Great Gatsby opened my imagination to a world and place in time I hadn't ever dreamed of. Happy Birthday to a writer who so eloquently captured the glamour of the Jazz Age (and the struggles that went with it) that still inspires today...

photo courtesy of Wikipedia

photo courtesy of Life Magazine, February 18, 1926

photos courtesy of the Library of Congress

Pretty as a rose

With all this talk of Fall, it's easy to forget that there's still a little bit of summer left no matter what the calendar may say. Like this shining glory - a coral colored rose in my neighborhood:

But since we are indeed two days deep into a new season, I couldn't help but notice the same shade used in Isaac Mizrahi's runway look:

photo courtesy of Ruby Press


The Cheese Stands Alone

The incredibly incredible idea below is one of those that falls into the category of "Why didn't I think of that?" Since hitting the lottery isn't a done deal (yet), I'm simultaneously thinking of ways to make my millions. See people, I'm realistic - I am willing to accept that I may just need to put in some sweat equity before I can live my life of leisure.

So I bring to you, by way of Not Easily Impressed., the Grilled Cheese Truck (patent pending in the District as of now). That's right, a street vendor of gourmet grilled cheese masterpieces. Double cream brie and peach grilled cheese? Check. Cheesy mac and ribs grilled cheese
? Check. A new set of fall clothes in two larger sizes? Check, check.

photo courtesy of the Grilled Cheese Truck


Washington, DC



Jardin du Luxembourg, Paris


Treasure hunt

Enjoying the warm afternoon sun and cloudless sky, I went on a treasure hunt yesterday through my neighborhood... Saw all sorts of wonderful things at my local second hand/junk-tique shops like a giant tin globe, folk art wooden horse, industrial floor lamp and mid-century bar cart. Came home with white flour sack cloth napkins (an easy way to be green) and two small footed silver-plated serving pieces (a steal, all they needed were a shine). I love mixing typically formal pieces into everyday life.


Hello, sweetheart

I think my recent posts are misleading - I am anything but fashionable. Sure, I try. And I really do have a deep appreciation of the stylish. But most days I don't even think about what I am going to wear until 10 minutes before I walk out the door (or 10 minutes after I should have walked out the door.) This includes weekends. Oh, and my clothes are so last season (by "last" I mean "ten".)

I wasn't even going to comment on the Emmys until I saw one of my all time favorite silhouettes all over the red carpet tonight: the sweetheart neckline.

The classic:

With a modern twist:

And one with a little plunge:

photos courtesy of TV Guide

The Sartoralist says personal style isn't replicating what you see, but interpreting inspiration and making it your own. So while I can't promise this is the end of my fashion posts, and I am sure to share my inspirations as I go, I'll give you a little break first.


National Zoo
Washington, DC



Washington, DC

Yes, you saw that right - Halloween candy in September. And for breakfast! (sorry Mother)


The Look for Less: Tights

The Fall Favorite: Colored, textured tights

Luckily for us, tights can add
pizazz to any outfit for mere pennies per wear. So grab a pair today and throw them on with "old" clothes to transform them into new outfits. And don't forget to pair them with your favorite peep toes (because you're a rebel!)

photo courtesy of polyvore

And more importantly, why have I just discovered this collage function on polyvore?!! As a child of the 80's and 90's, you can expect more collages coming your way...


Spoiled Rotten

Oh my, I am spoiled rotten. Look what the husband surprised me with:

photo courtesy of The Sartoralist

It's a gift that keeps on giving - the inspiration will never end!

Speaking of which, this recent Sartoralist look:

Can be yours, thanks to Blog Goggles' fab vintage find (just throw on a smart little blazer and killer gladiators):

photo courtesy of Etsy


Blue Ridge Parkway, VA

The Look for Less: Belted Cape

The Fall Favorite: Belted Cape

Paul Smith, $657 (399 GBP)

photo courtesy of Polyvore

The Look for Less

Tulle, $98

photo courtesy of Tulle



Champs-Élysées, Paris

The Look for Less: Over the knee suede boots

The Fall Favorite: Over the knee suede boots

Giuseppe Zanotti, $975

photo courtesy of Net-A-Porter

The Look for Less

Rampage, $80 (these can also be cuffed and worn below the knee, until you're ready for your Pretty Woman moment)

photo courtesy of Piperlime

My debut

I feel like a debutante, with my very first guest blog as my debut.

The fashionable Liz of Pink Monkey Style asked little ole' me to contribute my "Top Five for Fall" for her guest blog series (this from the girl who is getting backstage snap shots straight from Fashion Week! It doesn't get more fabulous than that.)

Sneak peak: over the knee boots, belted capes and... oh, I wouldn't dare spoil the fun. Head on over to Pink Monkey Style and enjoy.

I'll be sure to share my "looks for less" throughout the week.



Costa Rica


I had the time of my life

I am glad I was surrounded by friends when I heard of the passing of Patrick Swayze. I still remember sneaking down the street to watch Dirty Dancing at my friend Courtney's house (who also had an Epilady and played Debbie Gibbson/Bangles/Sinead O'Conner on her pink Sony boom box).

I wish I could post the entire movie (and watch it over, and over, and over again, all day long. Well, like in college) but this will have to do. R.I.P Patrick.

photo courtesy of Flickr

Starting the week off right

After years of saying "We should really get together" every single time we ran into former coworkers (who we really do consider friends) at happy hours or events, we are finally having a few of them over for dinner tonight. On the menu: slow cooked pork shoulder Cubano (think lots of citrus and garlic) with cabbage salad and cilantro rice.

Mondays are brutal enough on their own, so we lightened the load by cooking the pork and prepping the salad yesterday. While the pork certainly gets us ready for cool weather "hibernation mode", the crunchy, veggie filled salad and fresh cilantro in the rice will keep it on the lighter side.

Oriental Cabbage Salad Recipe (toss with chicken to make it meal of its own):

One package coleslaw mix (or the equivalent of shredded purple and white cabbage and carrots)
Half a head of Savoy (the crinkled leaf cabbage)
Extra shredded carrots
4 green onions, chopped
(note: I am going to add a couple cups of shredded broccoli mix to amp up the veggies; you could also add tomatoes, red or green peppers, etc.)
Half a cup of toasted silvered almonds
Half a cup of toasted sun flower seeds
Package of Oriental Ramen Noodles (reserve the seasoning for the dressing) - crushed and sauteed in butter (note: I am just going to toast them without the butter)

For dressing: heat 1/2 cup white vinegar, 1/2 cup vegetable/canola oil, 1/4 cup sugar and the seasoning packet. Remove from heat once the sugar has dissolved.

Toss everything together 30 minutes before you serve. Bon appetit!


Tea in DC

Up to two million demonstrators were in my back yard this weekend for a 'tea party' protesting government spending.

Exercising my own inalienable rights, I had a little tea party of my own:

Tazo's Earl Gray (black tea scented with bergamot) and Refresh (mint with a touch of tarragon) have gotten me through the darkest days of my out-patient Coca-Cola rehab program. New faves: Le Pain Quotidien peppermint and the Republic of Tea white tea.

And if you are ever in the District, be sure to stop by Teaism for an enjoyable assortment of teas, which can all be perfectly paired with the best oatmeal raisin and sea salt cookies you'll ever taste.

iSnap - Around the Neighborhood

Washington, DC


Maybe this isn't so bad

As I've mentioned (lamented?), it's football season. It's also lots of other things too, like fall, fashion week, the eighth anniversary of 9/11. But it is most certainly football season. Which means massive quantities of food. Adult beverages. Couch time. Icons. Icons? Indeed. Maybe this isn't so bad - I finally read the Vanity Fair article on Marilyn Monroe (October 2008!) and will start on Jackie Kennedy at half time (current issue).

I think we could all use a little Jackie:

photo courtesy of Kate Spade, fall collection

And of course, Miss Monroe:

photo courtesy of J. Mendel, fall collection

photo courtesy of Marchesa, resort 2010 collection