Friday, November 14, 2014

I'm Gonna Make This Place Your Home for the Holidays

When you live on an island, your excursions are carefully planned but infrequent. So when I first got the email from Alison and Kate about the Boston Bloggers Home for the Holidays event, I figured there was no way I could make it work, and I filed it away in one of my many email subfolders (because even though it’s been a year and a half, I still can’t bear to delete my beloved Boston Blogger communication). I’ve been suffering from some major blog FOMO since I moved to Nantucket in 2013, and every time I get the notice about a meetup or workshop, I cry a little bit inside knowing that there’s no way I can go.

But the more I thought about, the more I was determined to make it work. I mean, it was a Saturday, so it would be possible to get to the city somehow. Only snafu? My previous commitment to work at the museum until midnight the night before. With fifty fourth-graders. The only solution would be to leave on the 6:30 AM boat on Saturday morning, which would require a 5 AM wakeup. But hey, for the chance to reunite with my Boston Blogger ladies and the potential for other off-island adventures immediately following (Panera, Target... need I say more)? Sign me up.

I’m so glad I went, because I had the best time. With all the craziness I feel I have in my life on a day to day basis, I had been feeling very neglectful of my little blog that I used to spend so much time on. It was invigorating to get back in that mindset and be excited again about the prospect of being inspired to write once again.

When they put the word “holiday” in the title, they were serious. This was a full-on seasonal extravaganza, which I appreciated because it forced me to think about the impending merriment that I have been horribly procrastinating on the last few years (case in point: I bought every single one of Steve’s stocking stuffers on Christmas Eve in Hyannis while I was waiting for him to get off the boat, because I’m like the most thoughtful wife ever). We were lucky to have Wayfair host the Boston Bloggers at their offices in Copley Place, which I arrived at approximately thirty minutes late (but still stopped for a photo, because you know, without it, I was never actually there), which I thought was really good timing for someone that had to take a two hour boat ride and then drive from the Cape.

i have arrived.

I was immediately greeted by an immaculately decorated office full of beautiful furnishings… and no bloggers in sight. Because they were all in the keynote presentation that I had missed half of. Oops. I snuck into a free seat and promptly evaluated my swag:

getting my bloggy swag on

The speakers, Heather Armstrong and Christiane Lemieux seemed to be having a general conversation about the blogging process and how to balance this with your life. I wanted to follow everything they were saying, but I was already so distracted by the session schedule that I had trouble focusing on the discussion since I had entered halfway through.

After that, I embarked with group Mistletoe to our first stop, DIY Pennant Banners with members of the Wayfair team, Shelby and Lindsey. The minute they mentioned that this craft was the hit of the Alt Summit, I was like GIVE ME THE BURLAP. They had precut various colors, fabrics and shapes, and we could pick whatever our hearts desired.


In addition, there were strings, ribbons, paints, stencils – everything we needed to make our own masterpiece, perfect for blog holiday décor photos. I decided that mine would say “Merry Merry,” one of my favorite but not universally known holiday messages (it’s from a page in How the Grinch Stole Christmas, where the Whos are having their feast –it’s hanging in the background). Unfortunately I ran out of time and only made it through one “Merry,” but since I was freehanding it with black paint, I decided I would finish it up at home.


Next we moved on to the highly anticipated Tabletop Decorating session with Abby Larson, the creator of Style Me Pretty, aka, the Bible. You may recall I met Abby once at a signing for the Style Me Pretty book (she did too! She either has an amazing memory or is just perpetually nice to stalkers), and this talk did not disappoint.


With the help of a plethora of Wayfair accessories, volunteers designed their own holiday tablescape and the rest of us spectators gave them a thumbs up or thumbs down (we were kind, plus they did a great job). She also provided us with some great tips and tricks for photographing your holiday décor, which if I decorate more than a week ahead of time this year, I intend to put to use.



After that, we were treated to lunch by Kitchensurfing, who made us gourmet grilled cheeses (I went with the bacon + duck confit variety) and soup and I died a little bit.


As we nibbled, Alison held her own “fireside chat” and talked to us about how to balance your life with your holiday blogging schedule. I don't know if you can tell, but she's pretty much about to deliver a baby, so the fact that she did all this work and looked cute doing it is a testament of how awesome she is.


Next I was excited to move onto DIY Gift Tags with Kate, as I had seen her little creations on everyone’s Instagrams that day and knew that we were in for a treat. Under her amazing craft tutilage, we constructed our own gift tags from the likes of paint swatches, shower curtain rings, burlap, stencils, etc.



My mom was so excited about this that she immediately creeped our local Walmart paint section and snagged handfuls of holiday-colored paint chips and we continued the craft session for the next two days. As you can see, I was quite efficient and proceeded to make enough tags to give a present to basically everyone I’ve ever met. You’re welcome.


Our last session with our group was SEOAwesome with a few of the Wayfair techies that really knew their you know what (and obviously get extra ten points just for that name). I have been so inconsistent with just regular blogging things, that getting into all of the analytics that go along with having a successful blog is not something that I’ve really delved too deep into yet. I liked this session though, because even though everyone else there seemed like they were light years ahead of me, our presenters did their part to cover the basics without clearly talking down to the more advanced bloggers in the group. I didn’t even take any photos during this session because I was so obsessively taking notes on every single thing they said and I didn't want to miss anything. 

Finally, all of the groups convened once again for the final event, Menu Planning with Jeremy Sewall of Island Creek Oyster Bar, Lineage, and Row 34 (none of which I’ve ever been too but I now have an inexplicable craving for). 


I’m not exactly what you would call the “menu planner” in my household, but I enjoyed learning the correct way to shuck an oyster and how to deconstruct a lobster (which I surprisingly haven’t learned on Nantucket). He also has a gorgeous new cookbook out that would convince any non-chef that they could easily throw an entire dinner party of New England favorites made from scratch. Also he brought oysters for us to eat, so yeah, he wins. 

After that, it was time for everyone's favorite - cocktail hour. Bloggers + wine = a damn good time. 

or i guess anyone + wine, but still. this is a fun bunch.

Speaking of wine, our libations for the evening were provided by the new Andegavia Cask Wines, which I was very excited to find out had a major Nantucket connection, meaning that they are available at multiple retailers on the island. Since these fun little packages hold four bottles in one convenient recyclable container, it's idea for picking up a few (red and white!) for holiday gatherings. 

i thoroughly enjoyed the sauvignon blanc, but that's no surprise.

I spent the rest of the time catching up with some of my favorite bloggers, like Sara of Forever and a Recipe (who got married!) and Emily of Shell Chic'd (who got engaged!). And since we live our lives on the internet, a selfie was necessary. 


I saw one of the attendees on Twitter saying that they were going to dress "festively comfortable" for the event (whoever you are, you're brilliant and I'm sorry I didn't immediately follow you - please identify yourself!), and I would say that all of us that showed up in plaid were totally on the same page.

l.l. bean ain't got nothing on me, NatalieSusan

I also spent an unhealthy amount of time exploring the Wayfair office and snapping photos of my favorite areas. It may be my new favorite place. Can I just move in there?


And because they are so amazing (and know the way straight to a blogger's heart) there were gifts. Yep - those presents under the tree weren't just for show. 

alana of the good girl gone blog is very excited about her cheese board.

Because I had my car with me and I am a child at heart, I chose one of the biggest bags and was pleasantly surprised to fine a gorgeous blue pillow that already matched the color scheme in my living room (coincidence? Or is Wayfair just that good?). 

downside: it made me realize how dingy my other pillows are. yikes.

Love this look? You can get your own (it comes in two colors, and it's on sale!) here. I'm already thinking about getting a second one and doing a full update for the couch. I mean, most of the ones I have are from Home Goods circa five years ago, and that orange one is technically an outdoor pillow. #bloggersecrets

It even got the Schooner seal of approval (i.e., he's not ripping it apart, so we have a win). 


All in all, it was such an amazing day, and I'm so thankful that I got to be there. If you just can't get enough of this event (and obviously, I can't), check out the official photos from Third Eye Chic on her blog too.

Thank you to all of the people that were involved in making this such a great experience for all of us bloggers!

~L

P.S. I've had a lot of questions about my outfit (which I love, so keep 'em coming!), so I had to share my official #ootd pic:


I have to admit, I was really stumped on this one. There was no official dress code, but knowing that when you go to these events that it's at least half-full of fashion bloggers, you gotta dress to impress. Also you're not only representing yourself, but your blog too. Since I would be heading their straight from the boat with no time to ravage a Forever 21 or something for a last minute item, I had to call in the big guns, which meant texting my fashionista friend Sarah frantically at 10 P.M. the night before with crazy selfies I had to take standing on a stool in my bathroom because I broke my full length mirror. She gave me some super helpful recommendations of things that I already had, and together, we came up with this. I was so flattered to get complimented many times that day by all these people who have style that I am in awe of. So thank you! Also, here are the outfit details:

TJ Maxx top (circa 2 years ago, similar here) / NY & Company skirt (I feel bad that so many people asked me where to get this, but it's literally from like four years ago. This is the only one I could find online that wasn't $400) / Express tights / Sears booties (old, similar here) / ILY Couture necklace / Forever 21 bow (old, similar here) / Ink Revival nametag (they did all the amazing calligraphy for the event!)

Friday, October 24, 2014

Linds-terest: Tricks & Treats

In an attempt to get back on the blogging bandwagon, I thought it time to start my own little series to inspire me to write even when there's no award shows or Kardashian divorces to comment on. I used to have my Mall Madness Monday posts, in which I would share my weekly favorites from traipsing through the runway of retail that was my former place of employment. But since I am no longer trapped within the confines of shopping plazas, I needed to find some other form of inspiration. 

So what do people do on Nantucket with nary a chain store or outlet in sight? Why, take to the internet, of course. I decided that I need to expand my horizons past just shopping, though, and do more of an overall round up of all my online favorites for the week (or two, whatever). I'm thinking of aiming around five or so, but it could be more or less depending on how easily influenced I am that particular week. 

So starting off with a bang, or should I say, a boo, since it's almost Halloween. But only a few of these things are bump in the night-worthy, and the rest? Just more of everything I cant get enough of. 

PS, the name came from my mom, who upon the discovery of the timesuck/craft shaming that is Pinterest, said that I should have thought of that myself and called it Linds-terest. And that's the reason why I'm not a millionaire. Cheers!

Anna Kendrick for Kate Spade 
I have long been under the impression that Anna Kendrick is a national treasure and deserves nothing less than having her face added to Mount Rushmore. Even if you don't think she's pretty (you're crazy) or you hate all her movies (blasphemous), I dare you to watch this 20 questions interview from the Kate Spade blog and not immediately fall in love with her. Also, she's the star of their holiday campaign, so yeah, I'm going to need everything.


The Most Fashionable Pumpkins Ever
Every year, I pin all these amazing photos of super crafty, no carving needed pumpkins, and they NEVER happen. In 2013, I was all about glittery chevron. Seemed totally attainable. I even bought ten miniature gourds that sat on my shelf for so long that they dried themselves out and basically became maracas. So when I stumbled upon these last week, I was sold. And by sold, I mean I admired them and thought about making them and put no real effort into any of it. I mean, pumpkins inspired by all the major players in the fashion industry? As Rachel Zoe would say, I die. While I love them all, pumpkin Karl Lagerfeld is my favorite. I only wish there was an accompanying model of his cat

via domaine

"I Know I'm Not the Only One" by Sam Smith
Besides projecting a sound that can only be described as baby angels crying tears of joy, Sam Smith's other greatest contribution to the world right now is this beautiful but soul-crushing music video. Since I like to know the kids are into these days, I do watch the MTV music video channel (it exists, but only in the 200s on Comcast) while I get ready in the morning and that's where I discovered this gem. It stars Dianna Agron from Glee looking as flawless as ever as a neglected housewife, and the hot yet approachable Chris Messina from The Mindy Project as her philandering significant other (who I would hate, but then I remember that it's really difficult for him to contain his hotness). I feel so many emotions when I watch this - pain, heartbreak, empathy, anger, but most of all, I just really need the tutorial for her eye makeup. 


In the Heart of the Sea Trailer
Shameless plug: I spent an exhausting but incredibly exciting two days this month working with Warner Brothers for a two-day long lead press event at the museum that I work at. I KNOW. It took every fiber of my being not to Tweet, Instagram, skywrite or use whatever other form of communication available that I could find and tell the world about this before it was happening. Instead, I just had to let it eat away at my insides that the likes of Chris Hemsworth and Ron Howard were going to be walking around on the same stretch of land that I live on, traveling the same halls that I do everyday, etc. Since they have long come and gone, I can not only breathe, but acknowledge that this in fact actually happened and I was a part of it. So when the trailer came out shortly after, I watched it forty-seven times and sent it everyone I know. It won't be in theaters until March 2015, so you have time to not only read Nat Philbrick's amazing book that it's based on, but you could probably even get through Moby-Dick too (which was inspired by these true events, all from our little elbow of sand). Be sure to check out the official Facebook page, where they will be posting all kinds of tid-bits prior to the film's release, including some promos shot at my work (featuring our authentic whaleboat)!



Oscar de la Renta Slideshow on Style Me Pretty
The fashion world lost an icon earlier this week with the passing of Oscar de la Renta, a true artist who was known for everything from award show wear to beautiful bridal gowns. So of course, the wedding bible that is Style Me Pretty put together a beautiful online gallery of some of his greatest nuptial works, from trendy to traditional. Me? I'm always partial to a large bow. 

via style me pretty

That's it for the first installment. Not sure exactly when my next post will be, but I'll be on the prowling the web this week in search of new finds (and I mean that in the least To Catch a Predator way possible).

~L

Friday, June 27, 2014

You Got the Write Stuff

Last weekend, I had one of those weekends that you look forward to for days and then you blink, and BAM! It's over. While any gorgeous weekend on Nantucket is a gift from the weather gods as a way to repay you for the worst winter ever, these few days were especially noteworthy for me as it was my first Nantucket Book Festival. I missed it last year, and so I was really looking forward to get my book nerd on all weekend long. 

Nantucket is famous for having a festival of some kind almost every weekend from May until August. Unlike many of the others, most of the events during Book Festival are totally free, which is great, because if there's anything Nantucket is known for, frugality is not one of them. 

But about the festival. Guys, it was amazing. Seriously. As someone who has loved reading for pretty much my entire life and writing almost as long, it was so inspirational to hear from all these different people who are from all different parts of the country and walks of life that are all joined by this common thread. Prior to the festival, I picked up a program to determine which programs would be the most worthy of my time. Turns out, the answer was all.

seriously, I wanted to clone myself so I could go to everything. 

Since I appreciate a good theme and always try to dress for the occasion, I planned out my #ootd and accessories for the weekend accordingly.

h&m denim jacket / forever 21 top / j.crew skirt / payless heels / ily couture bracelet / kate spade clutch

l to r: kate spade pencil necklace / forever 21 typewriter necklace / scrabble earrings  / kate spade book clutch

On Friday night, I started the weekend off with the Opening Kickoff: Reading in my Writing Life with Geoff Dyer, Ben Fountain, & Dani Shapiro at the Unitarian Meeting House. The event began with the Young Writer Award, in which they gave out prizes to the best writing submissions from a contest among local students. I got a bit nostalgic for my early days, entering writing contests and submitting pieces for my school's literary magazine. It remember what it was like when I discovered that I loved writing and that feeling that I got at a very young age when I was sharing my stories.


All three authors talked about how reading is directly related to their lives as writers. Dani Shapiro gave what I thought was the best advice that evening, which is that you should start every day with good words in your head. She wasn't implying that you needed to read a chapter of War and Peace before breakfast. It was more about how beneficial it could be to all of us if the first words we saw in the morning weren't the subject lines of our email or the collective unimportance of A.M. Facebook statuses (which I am often guilty of both of). It's about setting the tone for your day, and how much more positive your outlook can be if you start it off inspired by something. Immediately, I knew I would be showing up for her session the following day- I couldn't wait to hear more. 

The next day, I woke up bright and early, and while I didn't start my day off with any inspirational prose, I did step outside my comfort zone with a little 8 A.M. yoga. I know, right? It's like, who am I anymore?


Since we're sharing, I'm not going to lie- the main reason I signed up for this session is because it was free and I figured it would probably be the only time I would ever get to work out at the super schmancy Westmoor Club. But as an added bonus, the class was being taught by yoga instructor/author Sara DiVello, who I loved hearing her story about leaving the financial corporate world after thirteen years to pursue her dream to teach yoga. She teaches yoga at a few places in Boston and if you're in the area, I highly recommend taking a class with her, especially if you're an inexperienced yogi like myself. I had to skip out slightly early to make it to the next session I wanted to attend, but I made a mental note of her book and the subsequent signing later that day and promised myself I would go back and pick it up. 


I hightailed it back into town for Writing the Creative Life, Part II (I missed Part I due to yoga) at the Atheneum, where I got to hear Dani Shapiro and Katrina Kenison share their process about writing, specifically memoirs. I was mostly interested in this because I feel like blogging is almost memoir style writing, and I always debate myself on how much detail I should go into about real people and real scenarios, and they both spoke about dealing with that. The biggest point I took away from it is that relationships with people are always more important than anything you will ever write, but how you want to approach that fine line is ultimately up to you. 


Next I attended Emerging Writers: A Conversation with Michael Schulder. There was a whole thing here about stealing books that I didn't quite understand but was supposed to be a good thing. The best part about this session was being introduced to four really cool writers that all came from completely different genres: Molly Antopol, Cynthia Bond, Tim Horvath, and Anthony Mara. They all shared their many different words of wisdom about the craft, and how you always want your readers to feel like that they time they spent reading your book was worth it. I didn't pick up any of theirs this round, but as soon as I finish the ones I did purchase, these are next on my list. 


This is where you know my love for the written word runs deep. At 4 PM, there were two conflicting events that I really wanted to attend: From Page to Stage, a music & performance themed session, and Books, Bubbles & Bites with a food writer + free champagne at Cru, one of the hottest restaurants on the water. My friends were set on the Bubbles, but me? I followed my heart and went with the books. And I'm so glad I did, because it's where I was first introduced to Megan Stielstra, who I immediately fell in love with and plotted ways in which I could convince her to be my friend (I started by purchasing her book of essays, which I thoroughly recommend).


By this point, I was so full of inspiration and words but majorly lacking in nourishment, so I headed home to recharge and grab dinner before heading out for the evening's final events, which grabbed my attention immediately when I saw them on the schedule: Authors in Bars and Book Fest Open Mic. Both are exactly what you think they would be - all the super cool people I had just been listening to during the day, who were now in front of me in line at some of the island's local bars and restaurants. And they were so nice and approachable, it was almost like being around celebrities except for the were totally appreciative of you fanning all over them. I didn't take any photos of the actual people that I chatted with (too busy fanning), but just to prove that we were there, here's my friend Claire at the bar with everyone's empty glassware. 


Most of the festival's events were packed into the busy Saturday schedule. There was a brunch on Sunday with Jodi Picoult that sold out pretty much immediately (and was also more than my husband would ever allow me to pay for things I don't eat, like eggs) and a pig roast at Cisco Brewers (which sounded fun, but wasn't really my scene). Plus, I was kind of mentally exhausted from the day before, and I just wanted to relax and soak in all that I had learned in the last twenty-four hours. I did venture downtown to some of the signings of people that I wanted to meet and didn't get to the day before, and then spent the rest of my afternoon alternating between chapters of my new lot of books (I couldn't decide which to read first, so I simultaneously read them all). 

The weekend closed out with the only session that I actually paid for (and with a $20 price tag, it was totally worth it). It was a panel at the Dreamland Theater called Books to Film, featuring seven authors whose works have been or are currently being adapted for the screen, either in film or television. Between Ben Fountain, Ben Mezrich, George Pelecanos, Nat Philbrick, Lisa Genova, Chris Seufert and Jodi Picoult, this easily could have been a marathon event, but alas, it was only an hour. I picked up a lot of juicy info, like the fact that authors really don't make all that much money for selling the rights, and that they have literally no say in what happens to their story (as Picoult so eloquently put it, "writing a book is like having a child. You tend to it, you nurse it, you try to give it a good life and hope that it grows up to be something great. And sometimes, your baby turns into a prostitute"). 


And just like that, it was over. Of all of the festivals this island has to offer in the high season, this was by far my favorite and the most accessible for the average Nantucketer. I left invigorated, inspired, and just ready to read and write as much as I possibly could (in addition to my healthy Real Housewives schedule, of course). 

I thoroughly recommend that if you love books and you can escape to Nantucket for a weekend, you hop on the Hyline and get out here next June. I know I'll be there with bells on.

~L

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Bow Wow Wow Yippee Yo Yippee Yay

Sigh. Once again, I've taken a bit of a blogging hiatus. And this time it was for good reason, not just work is busy/I'm tired/max capacity DVR (although those are all things that are often happening at any given time in my life). This time, there have been a few obstacles getting in my way of sitting down at the keyboard. One obstacle, mainly.

Notice anything different about this #ootd photo?


I know, that necklace is fab, right? I have it in two colors.

Oh and also, THE DOG.

That's right. After years of wanting, months of deliberating, and only minutes after meeting, Steve and I have gained one very furry family member. Meet Schooner, our half Maltese, half Yorkie pup (also known as a Morkie). 

Let me back up a bit. I have always wanted a dog. Scratch that. I was more of a cat person, until I developed a horrible, debilitating allergy when I was a teenager. I couldn't imagine my life without a pet, so I though I should get a dog someday that was the size of a cat. That began my obsession with Yorkies. I mean, they were just so cute! Like a tiny adorable Ewoks. Recently, Steve and I spent some time dogsitting a Maltese, and she was so great, not to mention, both breeds have hair instead of fur. I thought a Morkie might be a perfect little mix. 

I always thought it was super cheesy when people said this, but sometimes, the dog really does pick you. When we walked into the room, he immediately came to life and looked at us like, "you're here for me!!!" Later, after we were on our way home with him, Steve told me that he knew the minute he saw him that we weren't leaving without him. Within a matter of hours, we were on our first boat trip together back to Nantucket, wondering what this new life would have in store for the three of us. 

Like every major decision we've had to make, we mulled over names for a long time. I had always imagined I would have a girl dog, so when we ended up with a boy, I was lost on what to call him. After Steve suggested a number of Star Wars characters/Bruins players that I quickly vetoed, we threw out the idea of a nautical name. After all, he does live on Nantucket. We spent the entire boat ride researching different nautical terms, trying to imagine us calling it out to him as he runs to us across a beach. 

It only took us 24 hours, but we finally settled on Schooner. We liked that it wasn't a name that a human would necessarily have, but it wasn't so ridiculous that you would be like wtf. Plus I thought Schooner Scouras had a nice ring to it. 

That was three weeks ago, and there have been ups and downs. I've never owned a dog before, and Steve's dogs that he grew up with were perfectly trained before he was even born. Schooner is very sweet, but he is a puppy through and through. We have spent pretty much every waking moment that we are not at work playing with him, feeding him, walking him, attempting to train him, and cleaning up after him. Poor guy was thrown off a bit when on his third day with us we had a massive snowstorm with 98 mile per hour winds. Needless to say, that leaves little time to document the adventures of Schoon-man (one of the many nicknames I now have for him - I will spare you the more schmoopy ones). Except on Instagram, of course. 


Notice that I'm only in one photo. Why, you ask? Well with an energetic guy like this to chase after, I find there is very little free time to try to make myself presentable. I've totally slacked on my #ootd pics these past few weeks, because when you come home and someone needs to go outside and is jumping on you and is like oh my god why did you leave me all day I hate you and love and I'm not quite sure what I feel but I HAVE TO PEE, snapping a few iPhone pics seems a little low on the priority list. 

I don't mean to sound like I'm complaining, because I do love the little guy. It's just a learning experience for all of us, and I'm deathly afraid of not training him correctly and being one of those people with that obnoxious dog that jumps on everything and barks at anything that moves. Is this what it's like having a child? Just constantly questioning whether or not you're raising a productive member of society? But you know, without the peeing on the floor and stuff? (Scratch that. I hear kids do that too.)

So here's to the newest member of our little family. Please pray to whatever higher power you believe in and the Dog Whisperer for us and a successful training period (however long that may last). 

Also, less of this would be great. (At least the shoes were unharmed.)

our first casualty.

~L (and Schoon)

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

You Better Work: Week Forty Five

Would you be mad at me if I said that sometimes, taking daily #ootd pictures isn't all it's cracked up to be? Don't get me wrong, I love having an outlet in which I can express myself everyday. And I do enjoy the photos and reading your comments and seeing your likes. But sometimes, you wake up late and throw on the closest thing you can find. Sometimes, you get home and don't have the energy to snap photos of your outfit because your rattiest sweats have been calling your name since noon. Many times, you leave the office so late that it's pitch dark and therefore, unsuitable for poorly lit iPhone pics. 

Which is probably why, during week forty five of whatever this thing is that I've been doing for almost a year, I only ended up with two outfit photos. So this is a relatively short post, but I'm getting closer to keeping up with these ensembles in real time (today is officially one week away from my anniversary at my job). And with that, I bring you the shortest #ootd post ever.

Monday:

limited sweater/express top/forever 21 pants/old navy flats & earrings

This outfit is a prime example of one of those mornings when it's like oh crap it's cold and I didn't pick out my outfit the night before and I just need to not be naked and get to work on time. On those days, I like to keep it simple with black & white with a pop of color. Okay, so gray isn't my usual "pop," but I thought a hint of sparkle would suffice.

Tuesday:

j.crew blazer, top & jeans/old navy flats/ily couture necklace

It's no secret that there are certain stores that I frequent (or used to, before there was thirty miles of water between me and the nearest mall). I don't ever intentionally wear one brand from head-to-toe, but sometimes when I go to tag the makers of the various pieces in my ensemble, I find that I am in fact a walking advertisement. Not that I'm complaining; the reason I love J. Crew is because all of the basics are so interchangeable. But you have to jazz it up with fun accessories, like these cap toe flats (that I have almost worn into the ground) and this statement necklace that I scored on a major sale. 

That's it for this (very short) week. Let's make a date for the next installment!

~L

Monday, March 10, 2014

It's the Freakin' Weekend, I'm About to Instagram Me Some Fun

Well folks, it was another beautiful weekend on Nantucket. I'm not saying that to rub it in, it's just that sometimes I can't believe I live here. Don't get me wrong, it's still winter (like it snowed again this morning), but this weekend was a great combo of beautiful weather (for March) + a successful work event + fun (and drinks) with friends + excursions. But let's let the photos speak for themselves. 

Friday night Steve & I took it easy, which now I'm thankful for after the excitement the rest of the weekend had in store. Saturday I was super excited because Steve was off (lately he's been working Saturday mornings), and he promised me a homemade breakfast worthy of MaryAnn's, and he delivered.

there was bacon, people. bacon.

It was a beautiful sunny day, and since we had eaten all the bacon, Steve thought we needed to be "active" and "get outside." I was still on my breakfast high and for some reason, I agreed. We went back to the scene of my last active breakdown, the Ram Pasture. Each time I go there, I am promised that if I make it far enough, there is some sort of barn. I wasn't sure what the deal was, but if there's signs leading to it, I figure it had to be something cool. Needless to say, I've never made it to the barn. And then finally...

barn, ho.

So what's out there you ask? 

A barn. 

Yep. That's it. And it's not like a cool historic barn. It's like a newly constructed barn that you can't even go inside. 

When I was starting to feel annoyed that I hadn't reached some sort of Nantucket Ark of the Covenant, I did look towards the ocean and decided that the view is pretty cool. 

first trip to the barn = first panoramic photo

I tried to keep my sulking to a minimum when I realized that once we got there, we had to walk all the way back. 

smiles

Now don't tell Steve, but it was sort of refreshing to be outside. Even though I could barely walk the next day. But I had to get over it, because I had to be at the museum for a program, which was basically like a Nantucket version of Jeopardy.

what is... a dead whale?

All of my coworkers worked super hard on this, so we felt like we had earned a beverage or two... or four in my case (hey, live-Tweeting events can be pretty taxing). Regardless, I discovered one of my new favorite drinks at Dune (the Island Affair) and then pretty much danced my legs off at the Rose & Crown with the five other people that were feeling the music as well. You know how I know I was having like, a really good time? Because there are no pictures of it. I was too busy to Instagram!

After discovering the next morning that we had been hit by the cruel mistress that is Daylight Savings, I forced myself out of bed (and wondered what age you have to be to be considered "too old" for shots of tequila) under the premise that Steve had promised us pre-hangover that he would make brunch for us, which meant I got to have bacon two days in a row.

After that, Steve took us on an excursion to explore some of the beaches we hadn't seen before in his car, which made me realize that before I moved to Nantucket, I had never driven on a beach before. It was another gorgeous day, so beautiful that the girls and I jumped out of Steve's X-Terra and began frolicking across the sand.

if you don't look at our outfits, you'd swear it was summer.

If I zipped my coat all the way up and just channeled as much of the warmth of the sun as I could, I almost felt like I could see summer when I was looking out at the waves. It definitely smelled like it. Despite living on an island, this was the first time I felt like I had smelled the salty air in months. Event the sight of driftwood seemed lovely.

We rounded out the weekend by shoving our faces full of pizza (because that cures most ailments, especially of the hangover variety) and heading back to the museum for a late night screening of... well, I don't want to tell you and ruin our theme for Daffodil Weekend, but let's just say that you can call us if there's something strange in your neighborhood.

just another day at the office.

I hope that all of you had an equally fulfilling weekend, but with less sand in your shoes and a few more glasses of water in between drinks.

~L

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

We Could Be Heroes Just for One Oscar Day

Happy day after the Oscars, everyone! Like a kid on December 26, I'm slightly sad that it's over but excited to play with my new toys, i.e., talk about dresses. So without further adieu, I bring you my 2014 Oscar Fashion Recap. 

l to r: jennifer garner/pink/kate hudson

Yes, I know, I'm picky, but these were literally my only three real favorites of the evening. There were a lot of other women that looked pretty, but these ones really knocked my socks off. First up, Jennifer Garner. I love a classic silhouette with an unexpected detail, and I thought she looked like on of the party guests right out of the Oscar-winning set of The Great Gatsby. I was sad not to see Pink on the red carpet, but I think she more than made up for her absence with this ruby red slipper-inspired gown during her performance of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." Although I'm not going to lie, I was half expecting someone to come along and rip the skirt off her as she was lifted above the crowd by circus wires. An aaagggh Kate Hudson (that was a good aaagggh) has just been killing it over the past few years on the red carpet. I was a little afraid that the cape thing was going to be all over the place on Sunday, and luckily, it was kept to a minimum and used effectively, like this half-one that lightly draped over her back.

l to r: jennifer lawrence/lupita nyong'o

I think if every single other celebrity came down with swine flu (thanks for the throwback reference, Jared Leto) and didn't show, we still wouldn't care as long as these two made it to the red carpet. I feel like all anyone has talked about this awards season is these ladies, and for good reason. But for me, this was a case of too much hype, too soon. I haven't exactly loved the things that Dior has put Jennifer Lawrence in this year, but unfortunately she seems to have signed a blood oath with them and is never allowed to wear anything else again, ever. I love the color of this dress, but when I saw it, I had total dejavu of the look that Michelle Williams sported at the 2012 Academy Awards, which was way more interesting. And I hate, hate, HATE this hair. I'm sorry, it's not because it's short, it's the way it was styled on this particular evening. She looks like a 40 year old woman that just came from the gym. Which would be fine if she was that age, because hey- at least she's working out, which is less than I can say for myself. But she's 23, and she falls and eats food and stuff- she's pretty much the closest thing the Academy has to edgy right now. And Lupita Nyong'o looks nothing less than ethereal with her flowing Cinderella gown. I just can't decide if I think this is Lupita-worthy enough for the Oscars. The color is amazing, but I prefer to see her in the more structured dresses she's been sporting all season instead of something so flowy on her super skinny frame. 

l to r: angelina jolie/ashley wagner/lady gaga/kristin chenoweth

I mean, I don't think you can ever really go wrong with glitter at an award show (or in life, frankly). Scratch that, you can. But before we get to that, can someone just check to see if Hell has frozen over? Because Angelina Jolie can't stop smiling. Maybe it's because she knows how damn good she looks. We sure have come a long way from the black velvet leg dress to this. I'm proud of my doppleganger Ashley Wagner (my mom says we make the similar facial expressions) for leaving the figure skating costumes behind and rocking full on glamour in this gold sparkly number. If I was at the Oscars for the first time, this is how I would want to debut. Who needs a gold medal when you can wear head-to-toe gold glitter? A look I'm less in tune with is this lavender art deco dress that Lady Gaga is in. I actually think the dress is really pretty and it's a great shape, but it looks so uncomfortable and ill-fitting in the chest area. That neck scarf has got to go too. In fact, the entire area from boobs up is what I have a problem with. With a dress that is so structured, I wish her face and hair were softer to compliment the architectural detail. I do sort of like Kristin Chenoweth's ensemble if only because of it reminds me of an Oscar statue. But I'm sorry, I will always have a problem with dresses in which the pattern does something that really accentuates your crotch area. Why has no one figured that out? We don't need a billboard advertising what's happening in that region.

l to r: camila alves/jada pinkett smith/penelope cruz

There was a lot of talk in the preshow about how pastels were going to be all over the carpet this year. Other than Lupita, these are the only others that I remember really seeing. Does three gowns a trend make? I'm a little sad for Camila Alves that she chose to wear this long sleeved gown when her husband so obviously was going to win Best Actor and she was going to be photographed 50 bajillion times. I hate that she has covered up her beautiful figure with a whole lot of extra fabric. She looks like a nun. And the matchy matchy purse + almost no jewelry? Not into it. Speaking of not into it, Jada Pinkett Smith somehow managed to take the girliest shade of bubblegum pink and turn it into something scary. Like is she wearing a bulletproof chest plate under there? A suit of armor, perhaps? Everything about her is chiseled. Good for the arms, not so much for the dress. I think Penelope Cruz is suffering from the same issue as Camila, where she's obviously so beautiful and has this amazing figure, and the she covers it with this pink drape over half her body, concealing all the good stuff.

l to r: anna kendrick/charlize theron/anne hathaway/chrissy teigen

I may have stated once or twice before that given my bias towards the color black, I'm not a huge fan of it for a head to toe look at an awards show. But the thing about this crop is that I pretty much like them, but I'm conflicted on parts of the dresses that I wish just weren't there. I am kind of obsessed with Anna Kendrick, as is my husband, but she's so cool that I'm like, "yeah, go for it." I like that this is not just a black dress, but I just cannot decide if I like that detail in the middle. And the leg? Let's just let Angelina hold onto that one, shall we? Charlize Theron is basically flawless, and I would estimate that my approval rating for this one is at about 95% (we only use very scientific fashion algorithms here at Lindsay's Look). I just cannot fully support the shape of those straps. I know they're connected to a full strap that just happens to be totally invisible, but I don't feel like those blunt points are all that chic. I guess I just frankly don't understand the purpose of having said see through area. I mean, it reminds me of those clear bra straps that were like all the rage in 8th grade, when you were trying to pretend that you needed a bra, but didn't want people to see it (although let's be real, you totally did). I feel like this is the first time I've seen Anne Hathaway in years, and I'm not sure about this halter dress that she decided to grace our presence with. It looks like someone demolished the Dancing with the Stars mirror ball trophy and slapped it on her chest. Finally, Chrissy Teigen mixed it up with a floral print that the more I look at it, I am not so much a fan of. I love pocket dresses in real life, but not for the Oscars. When you pose like this the whole time it just looks like you lost both your hands in a series of unfortunate events. Also, is the high-low hemline thing still happening? 

l to r: karen o/emma watson/julia roberts/olivia wilde

Ugh, more black. Fine, let's just get this over with. I'm knocking points off of Karen O. not because this dress is anything super fugly, but I loved her red performance dress so much that I wish she had worn it when she was actually standing upright (and with shoes on). I do love her little purse, although I liked it better when I thought it was like an kitchy theme clutch with an outline of a city skyline or something. Turns out, it's just bejeweled. A lot of people were expected Emma Watson to totally bring it after she wore those damn pants to the Golden Globes (which I was clearly not a fan of) and I could not be more bored with the dress that she chose. Since when are separates okay for the Academy Awards? I swear I've seen that glitzy sleeveless sweater at the Limited. Julia Roberts looks... fine. No, I mean it. She actually looks really good for her lately. I love her hair this shade, and anything that isn't a jumpsuit with an inseam that begins at her bellybutton is a win in my book. I mean she's not going to win any best dressed awards or anything with a plain black lace dress, but she definitely gets my "most improved" award for this season. I know I'm going to probably lose some friendships over this, but other than the fact that Olivia Wilde is beautiful and pregnant (which the way news outlets talk about her, it seems that she is the first woman to ever achieve that), I think this look is one giant snoozefest. I mean, look at her! I don't even think she likes it. Her personality is so fun and vibrant and this just gives me the sads. The only redeeming quality about it is that when she turned around, there was this cute little bow at the neck. Not that you could really see it, cause it was all black. Yawn.

l to r: calista flockhart/cristin milioti/naomi watts/portia de rossi

Do you think there was an email chain in which former cast members of Ally McBeal were like, "hey, you going to the Oscars?" "Uh, yeah, totally." "Me too. Brilliant idea- let's grab our grandmother's tablecloths that have been in the attic for like 47 years and make dresses out of them." "Totes magotes. Text me later." Okay, fine, that may not have been the conversation exactly, but how else can you explain both Calista Flockhart and Portia de Rossi showing up like this? And I'm sorry, I am really not trying to be mean (it just happens sometimes) but does Calista all of a sudden look super old? I always thought she looked like a teenager next to Harrison Ford, now I think she's starting to look like his twin sister. She's 49, not 65. One fresh face you may not recognize is Cristin Milioti, as her only real claim to fame so far is that she's the Mother on How I Met Your Mother. Oh, apparently she was also Leo's first wife in Wolf of Wall Street, except when I saw her on the red carpet I got nervous that the Twilight series was coming back. Like, seriously, she looks like a vampire. That shade of lipstick flatters no one. I was so bummed to Naomi Watts in this shapeless white frock that looked like a beaded t-shirt dress, especially after she look so good last year. And I just will never get why people think it's okay to wear their hair so purposely unstyled. Thanks for putting the effort in and simply flipping your part to the opposite side. And poor Portia, wearing that doily dress that reminds me of a less exciting version of the Spirograph drawings I used to do when I was a kid.

l to r: amy adams/idina menzel/sandra bullock/viola davis

Finally, some color! I mean I'm not saying it's all good, but I'm human and need a shade besides white or black to focus on for a minute so my eyes remember how to process color. First, Amy Adams. I'm really disappointed, because I sort of wanted her to win (it was her 5th nomination after all) and also I wasn't overly impressed with this look. The word that popped into my mind when I saw her was "severe." The dress is so angular and the hair is super stiff, and she was just completely devoid of the softness that usually follows her wherever she goes. Speaking of severe, who effed with Idina Menzel? Like why does she look so angry? I mean, this was even before she had her name butchered on international television (although I'm not going to lie, Adele Dazeem is really starting to grow on me). This isn't my favorite shade of green, and I guess it goes with her skin tone, but it just makes me think she's having trouble leaving Elphaba behind. I like this navy dress on Sandra Bullock, but I have to wonder if we combined all the extra fabric that people were wearing this year, how many extra Academy Award dresses could have been created? And then there's Viola Davis, who seems to understand what colors work for her skin tone, unfortunately fabric choice and fit leave something to be desired. I think the top of this gown is just so unflattering, and the shiny sateen reminds me of a cheap prom dress. 

l to r: kristen bell/kerry washington/jessica biel

... And the color is gone. This is where we start to get into the paper bag category, a shade I affectionately refer to as "faccata." Kristen Bell is so cute, it just bums me out to see her in this off shade that totally washes her out. Also the bottom of her dress looks like it was created from thousands of crumpled tissues. I have always thought of Kerry Washington as a fashion maven, but I have not been loving her maternity style. I wish this dress was more purple and less of a dirty drain water hue. And I'm sorry, I don't find anything stylish about this. It reminds me of when I was a kid and I would wrap myself in a sheet and pretend it was a gown, including the bobby pin that held it all together. I think she herself looks gorgeous and I love her hair, but unfortunately, it stops there. And I don't know what it is about Jessica Biel, I have never particularly cared for her, her movies, or anything she wears. She just bores me. I'm confused why she was actually invited to the Oscars. When was the last time she was even in a successful film? (And no, Valentine's Day most certainly does not count.)

l to r: bette midler/meryl streep/liza minelli

I appreciate a woman who isn't afraid to age gracefully. Some of these ladies got it right, and the other is Liza Minnelli. I loved Bette Midler's dress, I thought it was just right and like her, it's super vibrant. I wish she had kept this on for her performance as well, because that frock she changed into was bo-ring. I wasn't overly impressed with Meryl Streep's drapey gown thing, but I thought it was sort of typical for her, and it wasn't terrible, so I'm just kind of letting it go. I don't think anything can compare to the gold glittery Lanvin that she won in a few years ago, so I think we just have to cut our losses here. And Liza Minnelli. Liza with a Z but without a bra. Doesn't she just look like a really fancy Smurf? I sort of don't even mind the streak in her hair, I mean it's not like she's your typical grandmother or anything. But I don't even like when purses match outfits too much, let alone hair color. 

l to r: cate blanchett/sally hawkins

I know they play sisters in the movie, but did these two like call each other up and plan their outfits together too? I understand that Cate Blanchett is considered a style icon, but I wasn't in love with this nude gown. Obviously it fits her amazingly, but I think the color really washes her out. Also, paillettes are probably my least favorite accent trimming that has ever existed. I think I'm alone here, but I'm just not a fan. If only Cate had introduced Sally Hawkins to her tailor, because there is nothing about this look that fits. From the bangs to the sleeves to the train, everything is just like four extra inches too many. She seems like a petite woman, right? Why is she is literally drowning under her own hair?

So that's a wrap on 2014. Was anyone else overly exhausted when it was all over? I know I certainly was, which is why it took me two full days to organize my thoughts. Thank you for joining me on this ride, whether it was here on the blog, Facebook, Twitter, or right next to me on the couch (sorry, Steve). 

~L