Friday book review (tearful edition): All the Light we Cannot See

Wow, this book. I'm not sure what to say about it that hasn't already been said, but I'll try. Have you ever had a book that you can't stop talking about? I'm sure my husband was getting sick of hearing me talk about this book. But it's the kind of book that gets into your head, that you want to discuss. 

About the plot, I was hesitant to read this book at first because it is about World War II. Not only do I generally dislike books about war, but especially about Nazi Germany. Everything about war just depresses the hell out of me. And I know that it was an incredibly important time period, but honestly I just feel like WWII has been wrung out, and done to death. 

But no, I was wrong. This author gives us an entirely fresh take on things. War as seen through the eyes of youth, and as experienced through someone who has no sight, a young French woman named Marie-Laure. To experience the sounds and smells of a bombing, and to think about the already terrifying experience of surviving a bombing, but now without sight, was just masterful. There were moments of pure, pure genius in this book. Points where I literally had to just put it down and take a deep breath. She's smart as a whip though, and so incredibly strong, and in the end it is her other senses that save her.

In addition to the point of view of the young blind woman in the book, we also get to experience the point of view of a poor German orphan named Werner, who becomes seduced by the possibility of a better life through the Reich. I could see in a flash how easy it would be to buy into their stories when you have nothing, and they are promising so much.  My heart just broke over and over again at reading about this incredibly gifted and sensitive boy who becomes a cog in the machine of war.

Doerr has woven a tapestry that slowly brings these two characters together for a brief and gorgeous moment in time. That moment encapsulates the innocence of youth, and the innocence that was stolen from them so beautifully. I'm literally tearing up right now just thinking about it. 

Ugh, just read this book. It's incredible. But beware of reading it in public, unless you don't mind crying in front of strangers.


February round-up

We've had a week of snow days here in Kentucky, so my outfits lately have been mostly yoga pants and hoodies :) We have been curled up by the woodstove when we're not venturing out to walk to the library like I was here

As far as my winter capsule, I am still enjoying putting together outfits! One item I wanted to talk about today was my mustard yellow cords. These have been such a favorite. At the beginning planning stages of my winter capsule, I knew I wanted to include at least one item that was mustard yellow. I'll admit it, I have a thing for 70s colors; avocado green, burnt orange... you get the idea. 

But, there was one problem, if I wear yellow, I look like I have the flu. Any shade, it just does not agree with my complexion. The solution? Either a yellow skirt or pants! Then I can still have my pop of color while remaining healthy-looking. These were my inspiration, from the blog et pourquoi pas Coline - I don't speak French but I LOVE her style!

I found the perfect pair, after much searching. They are by Levis, not too canary, a little stretch, good length. I just love the way that Levis fit! 

And they pair so well with so many things. Since most of my tops are fairly neutral looking, I can wear them with just about anything for a little color. 

The absolutely perfect Breton Stripe sweater by LL Bean, and navy flats

Navy waffle-knit sweater - I wore this with some slouchy boots. The kitten was being very helpful

And here they are actually on me with a vintage cardigan and some black booties. 


So, is anyone else thinking of the Spring Capsule yet? I decided to go ahead and put mine together over spring break in March. I'm just so ready! I've got a pinboard with some inspiration. I'm thinking lots of prints, skirts and dresses. So ready for winter to be over!


The beauty of layers

One of the best things about winter is layering, cozy textures overlapping colors and patterns. 
But one of the most frustrating things about winter is layers too. Sometimes I feel suffocated by them all. And I am still learning the art of layers. 

This post is meant to be a meditation of sorts on the concept of layers. 
Rather than feature specific outfits, I wanted to highlight the layers themselves. 
Showcase them as snapshots of layers I've been wearing lately. 

Hopefully these photos evoke a kind of warmth and cozy-ness, and show the interesting textiles and patterns that I've been wearing lately. 






Happy February everyone!
Stay warm.


Get dressed for work - winter capsule

Outfit posts!

I'm still working on photography, these pictures were all taken with a timer. Not my best work for sure. I can see why so many bloggers opt instead to just photograph a whole bunch of outfits in one go. So they are a bit blurry and strange, but you can get the basic idea. I'll work on it.

Anyway, disclaimers aside, this is primarily my work wardrobe. A lot of skinnies and button downs.
I am realizing that I never posted my blazers, of which I have two, a black and a grey.

Gray blazer - Black skinnes - white button down - simple 

Black skinnies again - this is a navy blue button-down

Same outfit with a blazer - it's one of my great joys that you can throw a blazer over almost anything
and make it look professional 

Black T-shirt dress over tights and with a brown cardigan. Wow, I look mad in this photo!

I'm going somewhere! Same outfit but with my big swing coat and work tote

Here's me looking very mysterious. I adore this grey wool trench coat - this was my birthday present to myself

So, that's it for now. I'm still figuring out how to take good photos of myself and my clothes. If anyone has any pointers (that include an iphone) I'd love to hear them!!

I'm planning to an entire post on the awesome that is the black t-shirt dress.

What sorts of things would you like to see? Do tell.


Thrifting and the capsule wardrobe

I’m definitely not as “adventurous” as I could be with my clothes. One part of my wardrobe that is evidence of this is my skirts. I just love the idea of wearing skirts, but then when I get dressed in the morning I grab pants instead. Recently, I have made a deal with myself, each week I will wear a skirt at least once, and a dress at least once. I have also found some incredibly comfy tights recently, and that is helping a lot

In putting together a capsule wardrobe, I have been forced to think of my clothes as outfits, instead of single items. This has truly been helpful for me. In the past, I would have so many "statement pieces", and no basics. I bought things for the print or the fabric, but didn't think about how I would actually wear them, or what I would wear them with.  

When I put together my fall wardrobe, I realized that I was lacking a simple, black skirt. I decided on a skater skirt, because I think they are pretty cute right now, and it works with my figure. They are easy to dress up or down, it's a really versatile item. It goes with practically everything!

Here's mine that I got at Banana Republic. For me, someone who tends to get most things second hand, it was a big purchase. But it was so worth it! For years I have been missing this crucial piece of just a simple black skirt.

My other skirt is a tweed pencil skirt. It doesn't look like much hanging here in this picture, but I'm going to try to post outfits, and this is a really cute skirt. Again, it goes with most things in my wardrobe, but this is very much a work piece. I would probably never wear this anywhere but work.

And finally, I have my interesting skirt. This is a secondhand skirt that is corduroy. It's a retro kind of burnt orange color, and it's about mid-length. It's a great winter skirt because it's pretty heavy. I found this at a hipster flea market last year and bought it along with some black cowboy boots. 

Which brings me to an important point. 
In each of my capsules so far, I've included what I'm calling "wardrobe misfires". In my mind, these are items of clothing that I love, but never wear. Rather than be overwhelmed with a bunch of them, I have just picked two or three to include in each capsule. For my fall capsule my misfires included a couple of funky dresses that I loved in theory but for some reason, never wore. One of them I actually started wearing, partly because I made myself, but also partly because having a small number of items in your closet makes these stand out items a little more fun. BUT, the other dress I realized I was just never going to wear, and I ended up taking it to a clothing swap. I was sad, because it was so cute, and I bought it new. But it was just this 50s style rockabilly dress that just isn't me. That's become a great part of this whole experience too, figuring out what I like to see on other people, versus what I like to see on myself!

I love vintage, and thrift stores. My style does tend to be pretty classic, but I like to throw in some funky bits and bobs to make it my own and I like to have at least one thing on that is unique. 

This capsule wardrobe has challenged me, it's easy at thrift stores to grab stuff willy-nilly since it's so cheap. Over the years I've end up with a lot of funky stuff, but not may basics to tie them together. You just can't wear head to toe vintage, or at least I can't anyway. But now I'm starting to see how to incorporate these items in. By including just one or two of these really funky pieces I can more easily come up with multiple outfits, and decide if I like them in real life, or just in theory.

These days if I do go to the thrift store (which I am really trying to limit) I ask myself, "if this was full price, would I buy it?" If the answer is no, and 9 times out of 10 it is, then I don't get it. Then I also challenge myself to come up with a few outfits with that item.


Blouses and shirts and tops...oh my!

I wanted to post my complete set of button down shirts since yesterday came up a little short.
I love a good button-down. It looks professional. And I love to roll up my sleeves. You can pair it with a sweater for a preppie look, a vest for some academic style, or a blazer for maximum business.

(Pictures taken from Pinterest by the way)

So, it's a versatile piece. And versatility is the name of the game with capsules.

First up, I've got a standard white version from Banana Republic, which is awesome. Heavy linen, fitted, basically perfect.

I've got a polka dot version, for a little sass

And I've got a silkier, green one for some sophistication

Recently though, I've been really getting into printed tops. I've picked up a couple for the old capsule wardrobe at my very favorite thrift store.

A navy dot

And the most adorable little bird print evah

Check out the close-up

So cute!!!

And finally, a gorgeous Anthro find for my birthday. I love, love, love this shirt.

So those are my six snazzy mostly-for-work-but-sometimes-for-fun shirts!


The Capsule Wardrobe concept

For a little while now this blog has been on hiatus, simply because I got a little blurry about what it was for. I wasn't really sure why chronicling my day-to-day activities was really necessary, or even interesting. In the past, the things that have brought the most people to my blog were when I was focusing on specific topics, such as crafting or cooking. One thing in my life I've been putting a lot of though into, and telling all my friends about is my capsule wardrobe. So I've decided to share that here.

This has taken a lot of hemming and hawing on my part since I'm not a fashion blogger and never will be. Nor am I a great photographer. So, we'll see how actual outfit posts go! But the first step is to just post the capsule in it's entirety, and that I can do.
I've broken the items down by category.

First, t-shirts. I will say that when it comes to t-shirts I have a few duplicates. This is only for winter. I am in Kentucky and it gets darn cold here. Most of these t-shirts are layered under many things and are not seeing the light of day! So, in that case I've decided that they are mostly "undershirts", which don't really count.

Second, sweaters. I have a really hard time limiting sweaters. Did I mention it gets really cold here?! I will admit to maybe having a couple more than is pictured here. I need to weed out a few though. I'm finding that some of them I carried over from fall are just too light for winter.

Button-down or work shirts is the third category. I've actually swapped out that navy button down at the top for a more silky navy shirt, but that is probably only going to be noticeable to me.  Also, I will post them, but I've added two more colorful print shirts. My wardrobe needed a little color and cheer in this drab season.

Skirts and dresses. I have two dresses that can be very easily layered. One is a simple black t-shirt dress that is basically perfect for every single wardrobe. This is hands down one of my favorite pieces. I will of course be posting more about each of these, as well as discussing maybe why one worked or didn't work.

Finally, pants. I've got two pairs of black skinnies, one pair of navy skinnies, and one pair of gray. I'm switching out those crazy brown bell-bottoms for some mustard yellow cords though. In fact, I'm wearing them right now! They were a great addition too.

I realize that may sound like this isn't the complete collection, and it's not. I'm having a bit of trouble with winter. For some reason, fall was way easier. I'll be writing more about that in future posts for sure!


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