Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Tuesday selfie

Today's look: I love you, Audrey. 

The outfit: BDG black and pink striped shirt; Lucky Brand Jeans corduroy skinnies; Aldo leather ballet flats; Cara Accessories Rhinestone stretch bracelet (@madewell.com); yellow spherical drop earrings (vintage); DIY top knot bun (click here for how-to).

The occasion: One of my favorite times of the day—-afternoon pick-up at the kids' schools.

Why I like this look: This outfit is built on the top knot bun I learned how to make, thanks to Jessica Quirk @ What I Wore (one of my favorite style blogs). The hairdo reminds me of 1950s Audrey Hepburn, which is why I went with the striped fitted tee, capri-length jeans and flats. Since I don’t like when colors are too "matchy" I picked a brick red bottom to create contrast with the fuchsia top. Nude-colored ballet flats complete the look. Ready to pick up the kids! 

This week's obsession: spherical drop earrings

Go for the gold: (L) Marco Bicego Africa Yellow Gold Four-Ball Earrings;
(R) Ippolita Rose Gold Hammered Ball Earrings

Sphere [sfeer]: a solid geometric figure whose surface is at all points equidistant from the center; a planet or star, heavenly body; a particular social world, stratum of society or walk of life; a really cool way to display art from your earlobes.

Circles inside spheres: (Clockwise from top left) chloe + isabel Crystal Brulee Ball Drop Earrings; LittleWeeza
The Blue Green with Brown Drop Earrings
(@Etsy); Lulu Frost Rhinestone Spherical Drop Earrings;

Betsey Johnson Polka Dot Ball Drop Earrings.   

Classic with an edge: Turtle Love Single Pearl Drop Earrings
These remind me of the foil-wrapped chocolate balls you see during the
holidays. Planet Silver Satin Gold Plated Silver Spheres Drop Earrings. 
Flower power: Haskell Gold-Tone
Flower Ball Drop Earrings.

Monday, April 29, 2013

The future's so bright, I gotta wear shades

Having fun at Big Fun. (@Big Fun Toy Store in Cleveland Heights)

Friday, April 26, 2013

Links apr26

Yeah, if I found this in my family's photo album, mom and dad would have a lot of explainin' to do.
(Photo: imgur.com)

Today's links are brought to you by the letters W, T and F. After you see these, you too will scratch your head and say "What the f*ck?" 


  • Ugh. Imagine finding this in your family photo album. (imgur) 
  • Bringing people together, one app at a time. (CNN)

Friday selfie

Today's look: Boho chic with a side of cowgirl.

Taking fashion inspiration from real people around the world, I'm excited to bring you Today's Selfie, a new series of style self portraits. I'm kicking it off today with an outfit inspired by cowgirls, grandma's lace doilies and Berkeley hippies. 

Hoping you'll find inspiration, too. As the great Diana Vreeland once said, "Fashion must be the most intoxicating release from the banality of the world."

The outfit: Anthropologie gray jersey 3/4-sleeve shirt; Xhilaration gray tank with crochet detail; Mossimo skinny jeans with studded pockets; Aldo Orawin leather + suede booties. 
The occasion: Coffee date at Luna Bakery Cafe with new girlfriends I've met here in Cleveland. 

Why I like this look: Love the crochet detail of the tank -- reminds me of the many creative projects my talented mom works on around the house. She always pays attention to the little things that make her house (and the world) oh-so-beautiful.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Out for a stroll (exploring the Shaker Lakes)

My view of Horseshoe Lake in Shaker Heights. Taken, unfiltered, on Earth Day. (4/22/13)

Springtime in Northeast Ohio is a bit erratic. One day it's 80 degrees and feels like California. The next it drops 30 and thunderstorms are on the way. So on a day where the sun made an appearance, I felt it appropriate to take advantage and walk to my heart's content. 

As an almost-native Southern Californian, I've been accustomed to year-round summer. That's why I've been diggin' the seasons here in Cleveland. The transition from winter to spring is absolutely glorious. Blankets of snow make way for the endless variety of blooming plants, trees and flowers. White daffodils, orange tulips, purple rhododendrons, yellow marigolds and buttercups. Milkweed, witch hazel, goldenrod, sassafras, spicebush. My eyes feast on delicate white and pink blossoms sprouting from the cherry and redbud trees.  

A few days ago I explored the Shaker Lakes, a man-made lake system that straddles Cleveland Heights and Shaker Heights. Created in the mid-19th century by the North Union Shaker Community, the Shaker Lakes and Watershed area spans 7,500 acres and offers numerous walking trails around the Lakes' swamps and woodlands. 

My feet took me from Shaker Lakes at Coventry Road and along
North Park Boulevard all the way down to Horseshoe Lake and back.

Walking outside clears my head. It's the ginger to my creative palette. When I'm out of ideas or need inspiration I find all I need to do is simply walk outside my front door. A few days ago, this is what I saw:

Springtime in Cleveland. Gorgeous.

I snapped this on my walk and I'm not sure what kind of flowering tree it is. Maybe witch hazel, cornelian cherry or golden glory dogwood? Where's a botanist when you need one?

Now that the winter's gone, the earth hath lost her snow-white robes; and now no more the frost candles the grass, or casts an icy cream upon the silver lake or crystal stream: But the warm sun thaws the benumbed earth, And makes it tender; gives a sacred birth to the dead swallow; wakes in hollow tree the drowsy cuckoo and the humble-bee. Now do a choir of chirping minstrels bring, In triumph to the world, the youthful spring. 
-- Thomas Carew (c. 1640)

Doan Creek watershed. 

See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land. The fig tree forms its early fruit; the blossoming vines spread their fragrance. 
--Song of Solomon 2:11-13

I found these fun vintage images inspired by the Shaker Lakes.

Lower Shaker Lake excursion in 1910. (Image: Doan Brook Watershed Partnership)

Early boaters on the Lower Shaker Lake. (Photo: Cleveland Heights Historical Society)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

We love you, Boston

Eight-year-old Martin Richard was killed in yesterday's Boston bombing. "He had gone out to hug his
dad after he crossed the finish line. The dad walked on; [Martin] went back to the sidewalk to join
his mom and little sister. And then the bomb went off. The boy was killed. His sister's leg was blown
off. His mother was badly injured. That's just one family, one story."
--Kevin Cullen, The Boston Globe


The word "horrifying" can't sum up what happened in Boston yesterday. Sometimes there aren't enough words in the English language (or any language for that matter) to express shock, grief, anger, confusion, sadness...

I've never been to Boston but it doesn't matter. I still cry for her. And the hundreds of thousands of sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends and lovers whose lives were tragically altered in a moment. We pray for you, Boston. We love you.

Like you, I've been scouring the Web for information and most of all, answers. While we wait for the "Who" and "Why," you may want to read how the stories of Boston are unfolding:

  • A perfect marathon day, then the unimaginable. (The Boston Globe)
  • Good will always win. Period. (Patton Oswalt/Facebook)
  • Susan Orlean on marathons. (The New Yorker)
  • Finding kindness and humanity amid the carnage. (The Telegraph)
  • How we found out about Boston: social media. (National Geographic)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Dispatch from Amish country

Amish countryside in autumn. (Photo by my friend and talented photographer Jeffrey Goodman)

As California transplants, we have had much to explore here in Ohio. One of my favorite trips so far has been to Amish country. I'm fascinated by different cultures, especially when they are worlds apart from mine. Add layers of religion and insularity and it's all the more intriguing. 

You've probably heard of the Amish thanks to reality shows like "Amish Mafia" (so terrible I couldn't even finish watching the commercial) and national headlines about the Amish beard-cutting ringleader who got 15 years in prison for terrorizing others in his community. My introduction was the 1985 Harrison Ford movie "Witness," which I admit is a terrible Amish primer but I was 11 years old and it made an impression.

The Amish are known for simple living, plain dress and a reluctance to embrace many conveniences of modern technology (television, radio, computers and cars, for instance, are considered "distractions" that take away from Amish values of family, community and God). They've been living an unfettered life for more than 300 years and are 249,000 strong here in the US (a recent study suggests their population has grown by 10 percent in the past two years).

Ohio has the largest Amish settlements in the US (followed by Pennsylvania and Indiana).
Above are a few snaps I took as we explored communities in Middlefield and Mesopotamia, OH.
My fave is the one in the top left corner. Love the contrast of the horse and buggy with the gas station.

We recently visited Amish settlements in Middlefield and Mesopotamia, Ohio. Just 45 minutes outside Cleveland, these are the picturesque communities you see on postcards: rustic landscapes, quaint farmhouses and plenty of horse and buggies.     

Exploring Amish country: (clockwise from top left) The Salaffs in front of End of the Commons
General Store, which first opened in 1840; yellow crocuses -- first signs of spring; Izzy sports a
traditional Amish hat and proudly displays her ice cream cone; what you can buy at the General Store;
me and fellow Californian-now-Ohioan Julie Goodman; the kids hitch a ride in an Amish buggy
(not really, it's just a display for the tourists); the Amish warn motorists to "share the road."      

My son asked me the other day, "Mom, why do the Amish not drive cars or use iPhones?" I told him it was because they desire to live a simple life. "What?!" he asked, baffled. "But technology DOES make life simple!" 

He has a good point (as a 7-year-old know it all, he always has a good point). Got a pile of dirty clothes? Throw them in the washing machine. Not sure how many feet make a mile? Look it up on the Internet. Miss friends who live on the other side of the planet? Just text them or Skype. I guess "simple" is how you define it.

Though I could never imagine living an Amish kind of life, there is much about their culture and values I admire: as farmers, their oneness with the land; their devotion to family and community; their deep-rooted faith. Beautiful things we can all strive for even in our modern, technology-driven existence.

Simplicity is a matter of perspective.  

"Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they sprouted, grew, and produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, 
and even a hundred times as much as had been planted!" Mark 4:8. (Photo by Jeff Goodman)

A clothesline was a news forecast
To neighbors passing by.
There were no secrets you could keep
When clothes were hung to dry.
I really miss that way of life.
It was a friendly sign
When neighbors knew each other best
By what hung on the line!

Excerpt from "The Clothesline Said So Much" by Marilyn K. Walker
(Photo by Jeff Goodman)


To learn more about the Amish, check out this fantastic 60-minute BBC documentary called Amish: A Secret Life.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

This week's obsession: spring sandals!

Me likey. Me likey, a lot.
(Pour La Victoire Shanna Snakeskin Sandal, $375)

A girl can never have too many shoes. Just ask my daughter, who, at age 3, already has a closet brimming with them. It seems as though she has inherited her shoe fetish from her mother. Oh well. There could be worse things, I suppose.

Winter wants to stick here in Cleveland. So much so that today it was a chilly 38 degrees (in April!). But they say spring is just around the corner. The snow has melted. The skies are clear and blue. The crocuses are eager to show the world their coats of purple, yellow and white. And I can't wait to shed the heavy boots in favor of my favorite kind of footwear -- strappy sandals!

These 10 (including the Pour La Victoire ones above) are getting me especially excited:

Love the caged lace-up detail. Super sexy! (STEVEN by Steve Madden Simmona Wedge Sandal, $169) Get it here.


I could totally get one of each color. (VS Collection Elastic Strap Sandal, $78) Want it? Get it.

These are so cute! My fave is the leopard print/pink one. (VS Collection Center-Knot Flat Sandal, $78) Yes, please! 

I'm loving the cut-out detail. Could pair it with a flouncy floral skirt or skinny jeans. (Mia Quincy Wedge Sandal, $69) Add to your closet.

This one's fun because of the color block detail, the yellow piping along the edge and the jute-wrapped platform. (Cole Haan Arden Platform Wedge Sandal, $198) Get it here

Sleek, sophisticated, cool. (Aldo Grumney Open Toe Heel, $80) Buy it.

I love these gladiator sandals! Perfect with a maxi dress. (Jimmy Choo Vernie Stretch Suede Flat Thong Sandals, $795) Break the bank.

Colorful beading and a cute bow. What's not to love? (DV by Dolce Vita Briza Flat Sandal, $79) Get it here.

Pretty, whimsical and just f-u-n. (Kate Spade New York Lainey Wedge Heel, $278). Add it now