Saturday, February 6, 2016

Outfit of the Day: One for the Mardi Gras Season

It's Mardi Gras season in New Orleans!


Sadly, I've never been to Mardi Gras, but that doesn't mean I can't take part in the festivities! Fat Tuesday is officially next Tuesday but since this was the last Saturday before the end of the Mardi Gras season I decided it was the perfect day to wear my Mardi Gras print dress and go out for cajun style food with my hubby for lunch.

I was really in the mood for some beneits and king cake but I wasn't really in the mood to bake anything myself or to drive all the way to one of our pseduo local New Orleans style restaurants to get them. Instead, I suggested to my husband that we go to nearby Union City to go to the Backyard Bayou.

While the Backyard Bayou doesn't have any beneits, hush puppies, or etouffee, they do have gumbo, which we shared a bowl of while filling up on cajun style seasoned crab. It was a delicious day.


Outfit of the Day:
For this day's festivities I had to take out my Trashy Diva Bustle Betty dress in Mardi Gras print. I paired this with black knit lace tights and a green cropped cardigan by MAK which I got from Modcloth I believe, about a year ago. It was kind of warm for the season so surprisingly no overcoat was needed. For a finishing touch, I paired this outfit with a pair of golden fan earrings which I got from Modcloth a few weeks ago.


Trashy Diva Bustle Betty dress in Mardi Gras print- Front View

Trashy Diva Bustle Betty dress in Mardi Gras print- Side View

Trashy Diva Bustle Betty dress in Mardi Gras print- Front View

Trashy Diva Bustle Betty dress in Mardi Gras print- Front View

Trashy Diva Bustle Betty dress in Mardi Gras print- Close Up

Friday, February 5, 2016

Outfit of the Day: Fancy Tea Time at the Claremont Hotel

Last weekend I went out to tea at the Claremont Hotel in Berkeley


If you missed it, you can read about it here. I wanted to pick out an ensemble that would be just as special as the tea.


Outfit of the Day:
For our tea time adventure I decided to wear one of my rare silk dresses by Trashy Diva. I got this Claire dress in Blue Ribbons print last year from the Trashy Diva swap and sell group on facebook. I'm a little funny about wearing things for the first time. When I deem something really special I try to hold on to it to find the most perfect first occasion to wear it to. For me it makes the dress all the more special and also helps to add a special feeling to the dress forever. I decided a special New Years tea with two of my closest friends at the gorgeous historic Claremont Hotel to be just such the occasion.

I paired this with a vintage coat I recently found on Etsy from the shop, Harrison House Vintage-- my dream coat, a true blue swing style coat! I wore this with a pair of long white knit gloves I got from Nordstrom some years back and a white beaded beret I got from Trashy Diva a few months ago. I wanted to wear some fancier shoes, maybe a pair of white 60's style heels, or a pair of navy mary jane heels, but after working all weekend at the tea shop last weekend my feet were pretty bruised up from standing on them for that long, so I opted instead for some furry lined black velvet mary janes which I got from Urban Outfitters a few years ago. For a finishing touch I wore this with back seamed stockings from Nordstrom, a bow necklace from Tiffany's gifted to me from my mom on my wedding day, and a pair of shiny bow earrings I think I got from Forever 21. I felt like a princess all day in this outfit! I'm glad I saved this dress for a special day!

Blue Vintage Swing Coat- Front View

Blue Vintage Swing Coat- Side View

Trashy Diva Claire dress in Blue Bows- Front View

Trashy Diva Claire dress in Blue Bows- Front View

Trashy Diva Claire dress in Blue Bows- Front View

Trashy Diva Claire dress in Blue Bows- Close Us

Trashy Diva Claire dress in Blue Bows with Tiffany Bow necklace- Close Up



Do you find that you save new items for the perfect first wear or do you usually take your new things out as soon as you can?



Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Taking Tea at the Claremont Hotel

Last weekend my friends and I got to go out for tea at the lovely Claremont Hotel


The Claremont hotel is a historic hotel in Berkeley, California. I pass this gorgeous old white lavish looking hotel nearly every day on my way to work. For years I've been wanting to have the opportunity to go through its gated walls and check this place out.

Over the Christmas holiday I noticed they were changing out the main sign on the entrance of this hotel. It now read that the Claremont Hotel was part of the Fairmont Hotel's properties. I've long known that the Fairmont Hotel is usually big on offering afternoon tea (the Fairmont hotel in San Francisco is the first place I ever went out for tea back when I was thirteen and my aunt decided to treat me for my birthday). While I checked previously if the Claremont Hotel offered tea (they didn't) I figured now that they are part of the Fairmont Hotel I should check again, and low and behold they did! They even were able to accommodate for special dietary restrictions such as gluten free, vegetarian, and vegan. I quickly arranged with a group of friends to go out to tea at the Claremont Hotel for a New Years celebration-- one of which was coming for the vegan tea. Our tea was scheduled for a few weeks prior but because I got sick for the weekend we were originally supposed to go we had to reschedule for this past weekend.

We arrived at the Claremont Hotel just in time for our reservations. It took a bit of maneuvering to get through the smallish and hilly parking lot but parking was not too bad. From the outside walking up, the hotel did not quite seem as grand as it usually does from at the bottom of the hill. There seemed to be an unfortunate amount of construction happening in front of the hotel. Walking through the lobby though, it was as gorgeous as I expected. Entering the main door you walk through a long well appointed hall, opulent and chic, until you get to the main lobby. To one side is the front desk, and to the other the Claremont Lobby Lounge and Bar. There were no signs pointing the way or to announce what it was, but seeing the tables where guests were sitting enjoying drinks gave you a bit of the idea.

We walked into the area (the entrance of which was too large to quite call it a separate room) and right away someone came out to help us. The lady checked my name for our reservations and showed us to our seats. We had our pick of a table right in the middle, one a little farther back, or one right in front of the window. While I knew the window table was going to get hot after a while we opted for the window because of the view of the bay. We were asked if we wanted waters to start and after a little bit of a wait were brought menus.

The decor for tea at the Claremont is much like the decor in what we saw in the hotel along our way... modern and chic. The tables had a mirrored table top and the tableware was all white with modern style. While tea time at the Claremont is a pre fixe menu, they did bring out menus featured on tablets (adding to the modern chic of this tea) to show you what was in store for your tea. Most of what was written on the menu though, I had no idea what they were: scuffins, possets, profiteroles. I decided I will just have to wait and see what was to come. For tea you did get a choice of tea selection... it was not the most expansive selection of tea, maybe a dozen or so to chose from (including only one herbal and no decaffeinated from what I could tell). Also, about half of their teas were at a premium and would add an extra $8 to your tea service if you chose any of those. Sparkling wines were also on offer for an extra $12 or so. For the hefty price tag of the tea, $48, I was kind of hoping it would come with some kind of sparkling wine or cocktail. Most certainly though, I would have expected at least that choosing a specific tea offered would not add an extra $8 to the cost.

Once we were settled, individual teapots were brought out for us with the tea of our choosing along with a tea timer to tell you when the teas were done. While I've never be to tea where tea timers were brought out, I do know that each kind of tea (white, green, black, etc) brews at different times so I'm not sure if we all just ordered black teas (I forgot to check with my lady friends) or if the tea timers are more just a formality to add to the experience. Next we were each offered a small bite to get us started, a kind of soft cheese spread sandwich. My vegan friend was brought out a small helping of mixed berries. Next came the full tea spread on a three tiered (though not your grandma's style) modern tray. My vegan friend had her own tea which was arranged separately though I forgot to make a note of what she was brought out specifically. For the non vegans we each had a scone and a scuffin (a mix between a muffin and scone), served with cream fraiache and papaya fruit preserve. For savories we were served a tasty pea spread with crunchy peas and pickled carrots on toasted bread, a salmon tea sandwich, a lobster roll wrapped in thinly sliced cucumber, a chicken salad sandwich, and egg salad in a small cup with brioche fingers. For dessert we had a brownie, a cream puff sweet, a kind of lemon yogurt, a madeleine, and a cookie.

Overall tea was pretty good at the Claremont Hotel. While my vegan friend was not too pleased with her tea (it left something to be desired according to her) the food for the regular tea service was excellent! Overall, there are lots of tea places that I feel are better, especially for the price of this one, this one is a nice one to get to experience.



The table setting for tea at the Claremont Hotel




Menu on a tablet


Some of the tea offerings


Tea timer for the teas






A small bite to start with


The full tea spread


Claremont Hotel, Berkeley, CA

Monday, February 1, 2016

Dress Review: The Return of the Lupe in Forget Me Not Floral

Dresses with prints are my favorite, though it is true that some prints are made more amazing than others!


What makes an amazing print? In my book it's either A) a novelty print that's super cleaver that looks one way far away and another way super close, B) a novelty print that's composed of something so cute or unexpected, or C) a novelty or floral print which can be mixed and matched with a ton of coordinating colors!

Speaking of C) amazing prints which can be coordinated with a plethora of colors, like the last dress I reviewed (Trashy Diva's latest Victory Floral print, you can see my review here), Trashy Diva's second to newest print, the Forget Ne Not Floral print is also one such amazing print that can be coordinated with a plethora of colors!

This print features a black background with red, yellow, and blue flowers. Within the flowers are white highlights and maroon shadows. A few light green leaves and stems are scattered throughout. Like the Victory Floral print, this one has so many colors to play around with! I love it! 

I realized after writing my last dress review that I had completely forgotten to write a review of this dress which I pre-ordered just before leaving on vacation to New Orleans! While all last year I had been looking forward to our trip to New Orleans (which we took last October) and the opportunity to finally try on all the dresses at the "mothership," the actual Trashy Diva stores where all available dresses are stocked, when this print came out for pre-order just before our trip and it was revealed that there was going to be a Lupe dress I had to make a pre-order to ensure it didn't sell out before I got my hands on it!

The Lupe dress does not come around too often. It was release earlier this year in Trashy Diva's Deep Sea Coral print but only in sizes up to 6 which sadly excluded a lot of us ladies from being able to order it. Other than that, the Lupe came in a black and white dress several years ago, and also in Trashy Diva's Turquoise Birds print also from several years ago. What's so special about the Lupe dress you might ask? It is just a really cute dress. It's a 1940's style dress with an amazingly detailed and intricate loop design along the front neckline. It also features little puff sleeves, a fitted waist band, slightly a-line skirt, and has a back zip. While it would have been nice trying on all the dresses that came in this print in the store before making my final decision on which cut I chose to take home, I don't think I would have chose any differently in any case!


Trashy Diva Lupe dress in Forget Me Not Floral- Front View

Trashy Diva Lupe dress in Forget Me Not Floral- Front View

Trashy Diva Lupe dress in Forget Me Not Floral- Side View

Trashy Diva Lupe dress in Forget Me Not Floral- Back View

Trashy Diva Lupe dress in Forget Me Not Floral- Close Up

Trashy Diva Lupe dress in Forget Me Not Floral- Front Close Up

I found this dress and all the other styles I tried on in this print to fit true to size and was able to order this in my usual size.



Are you a print fan? If so, what are your favorite kinds of prints?







Friday, January 29, 2016

Outfit of the Day: Would You Like Cream and Sugar With That?

Last weekend I went to one of our nearby tearooms


I did not go though to treat myself to a spot of tea. Instead, I was there to help serve the tea!

I noticed one day a couple weeks ago walking past the tearoom that there was a help wanted sign in the window. I've kind of been toying with the idea of having the dream of one day opening a tearoom of my very own and seeing that this tearoom was looking for some part time help I thought it'd be a good way to get an inside scoop of what goes into the daily workings of a tearoom. Having a little extra pocket money would not be too bad either. So I put in an application, put on an apron, and started my new part time weekend job last weekend.


Outfit of the Day:
Friday:
On Friday I had some errands to run after work. I really felt like wearing some separates. I paired this brown woolly skirt from H&M from several years ago with a floral 70's style top I got in Korea also from several years ago. The top came with a cute flower and feather brooch. I paired this with brown sweater tights I got from Target a couple weeks ago, brown flats from the Gap Outlet from several years ago, a mustard MAK cardigan I got from Modcloth I think last year, and my trusty red wool coat from Target also from several years ago. For a finishing touch I wore some golden fan shaped earrings I got from Modcloth a few weeks ago. For the somewhat mild Northern California winter I was toasty warm. 

H&M brown skirt with 1970's style top- Front View

H&M brown skirt with 1970's style top- Side View

H&M brown skirt with 1970's style top- Front View

H&M brown skirt with 1970's style top- Side View

1970's style top with flower and feather brooch- Close Up


Saturday:
Saturday was my first day working at the tearoom. I thought it would be fun dressing the part. I wore my Hell Bunny Emilie dress which I got from JBR Clothing (now Modern Pinup) a couple years ago. I paired this with a mustard MAK cardigan from Modcloth, beige Vera Wang sweater tights from Kohls from a couple years, and a pair of black velvet mary jane flats from Urban Outfitters from a couple years ago. For a finishing touch I wore a pair of cream colored flower studs.

Hell Bunny Emilie dress- Front View

Hell Bunny Emilie dress- Front View

Hell Bunny Emilie dress- Side View

Hell Bunny Emilie dress- Close Up


Sunday:
On Sunday for my second day working at the tearoom I decided to keep to the black and white theme of the day before. I decided to wear this Steady Stella Wiggle dress which I got from Unique Vintage several years ago. I paired this with a pair of black with black polka dot tights from Nordstrom Rack from a couple years ago and a pair of black flats also from a couple years ago. For a finishing touch I paired this with a pair of sparkly black bow earrings but I forgot to take close up photos of them.


Steady Stella Wiggle dress- Front View

Steady Stella Wiggle dress- Side View






Thursday, January 21, 2016

Matching Your Dress To Your Teaware Part 24: Winter Woodland

I'm super excited about today's Perfect Pairing


Not only do I get to bring you a wonderful perfect pairing full of woodland winter dreams but I also get to showcase a blogger that I love and a sweet friend of mine, Holly from Vintage Voluptuous. If you don't already follow Vintage Voluptuous you should check it out now! I love Holly's style which is full of vintage repro and true vintage clothing.

The pictures below are from her post, Curve Friendly Christmas Dresses: The Gilda Dress in Alpine Print by Lindy Bop. While this post was from back before the Christmas holiday I feel this dress would be a fun and festive one to wear all winter long! The alpine scene of this border print dress is so dreamy and fantastical. It reminds me of Disney-esque fairy tales set in enchanted forests. I love the light to dark graduation that the border print makes in conjunction with the white and light green body of the dress. The classic shirt waist styling gives it just the right amount of detailing to work with the border print of the dress without taking too much attention away from it.



Lindy Bop Gilda dress in Alpine print, image: http://www.vintagevoluptuous.com/2015/12/20/curve-friendly-christmas-dresses-the-gilda-dress-in-alpine-print-by-lindy-bop/


Lindy Bop Gilda dress in Alpine print close up, image: http://www.vintagevoluptuous.com/2015/12/20/curve-friendly-christmas-dresses-the-gilda-dress-in-alpine-print-by-lindy-bop/



When I saw this Handcrafted Forest Trees Teapot made by artist Dulcie Lindsoe-Johansen on the Stash Tea website I knew this would make a perfect pairing worthy of winter woodland dreams! Like the Gilda dress in Alpine print this teapot features a light to dark graduation formed by the contrast between the light green overall body of the teapot with its lower forest scene border design. The classic brown betty shape of the teapot is slightly offset by the whimsical bucolic oversized lip of the lid, lid handle, and rusticly curved lip on the teapot spout giving it a fantastical feel much like the scene pictured on it. 


Dulcie Lindsoe-Johansen Handcrafted Forest Trees Teapot, image: http://www.stashtea.com/Lindsoe-Clayworks-Handcrafted-Forest-Teapot/dp/B005S6G8JS?class=quickView&field_availability=-1&field_browse=2861425011&id=Lindsoe+Clayworks+Handcrafted+Forest+Teapot&ie=UTF8&refinementHistory=subjectbin,price,size_name,color_map&searchBinNameList=subjectbin,price,size_name,color_map&searchNodeID=2861425011&searchPage=4&searchRank=salesrank&searchSize=12



While the Lindy Bop Gilda dress in Alpine is a festive favorite for the Christmas seasons, like the Handcrafted Forest Trees Teapot, this winter woodland is perfect for any cold season day!




Thursday, January 14, 2016

Outfit of the Day: His Girl Friday

On Saturday Tim and I went to a farewell party for a friend who's going to Italy for a year


It was a chilly night so I thought my Stop Staring 3/4 sleeve sweater dress would be perfect. It's a black with white polka dot dress so I didn't really want to mix in colors like I did the last time I wore this dress. Instead I decided to keep to the black and white basics and so I pulled out my black over coat and black dotty tights to keep me warm. Keeping true to my style goals for 2016 I picked out a black and grey fedora I though would look good with this and some black heels to dress it all up a bit. I did not realize how 1940's gangster this was going to turn out! It was an unexpected and unintentional His Girl Friday look that I pulled together but I like it!


Outfit of the Day:
For this days outfit I wore my Stop Staring Samantha dress in black with white dot I got from Modern Pinup (formerly JBR Clothing) during a black Friday sale a couple years ago, a black overcoat by Double Zero I got from Modcloth a few years ago for a steal, black sheer with black polka dot tights from Nordstrom Rack also from a few years ago, black heels from Soft Spots which I got from Zappos several years ago, and a black and grey asymmetric fedora by Adora I got from Trashy Diva a couple months ago during their Black Friday sale. For a fishing touch I wore this with some 1920's inspired dangle earrings by 1928 which I got from Macy's back when I was in high school! 


Stop Staring Samantha dress in black with white dots- Front View

Stop Staring Samantha dress in black with white dots- Side View

Stop Staring Samantha dress in black with white dots- Front View

Stop Staring Samantha dress in black with white dots- Front View

Stop Staring Samantha dress in black with white dots- Side View

Dots on Dots: Stop Staring Samantha dress in black with white dots with black dot tights- Close Up

Stop Staring Samantha dress in black with white dots with 1928 earrings- Close Up