Thursday, February 25, 2010

I stole your boyfriend's pants


I know what you're thinking: "OMG she's wearing the SAME SHOES AS YESTERDAY GASP!" Yes, yes I am, 'cause I love them so much! Plus I like them with boyfriend jeans, they make me feel less stumpy in them.


No, these are not K's jeans, nor do they belong do a secret boyfriend. I don't have a secret boyfriend. I mean, unless John Krasinski is interested.... ahem. These are jeans that are thankfully big on me now- they used to fit me properly a few years ago and then I lost a bit of weight. I'm hoping that the jeans that fit me properly now will one day be this baggy in the thighs on me.

It's a little breezy out here today, but as long as it's still sunny I'll take it over the rain. I wish it was warm enough to sit outside because my hair is in serious need of some sun bleaching!



cardigan - unknown / top - JCP (on sale $6) / jeans - Lucky, thrifted / shoes- Target

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

She's back!


I'm more or less back to normal life now, hurray! 


I went with a Joan Holloway-inspired silhouette and neckline today, with this super comfy cardigan. The pink stripes and dark red cardi combo make me feel a little like a valentine, but it's still February, so no problem!  The full skirt makes me want to prance around outside, but alas, it's raining.  And when it's raining, there is absolutely no point in trying to wear my hair down because it will inevitably get damp and then turn into a frizz ball. Hence the side braid, which I love, but sometimes doesn't want to work with layered hair. 




How fun are these shoes? I feel so retro-glamorous when I wear them. Too bad I need to swap them for my rain boots when I go out later. 


I can't wait for Saturday! I don't know whether or not I've mentioned it before, but I do animal rescue transports from time to time when they come through this area. I haven't done one since before I went to Okinawa in December, but this Saturday I'm helping transport a miniature dachshund who is going to her new home in Florida! I loooove dachsunds! I think I'd like to have a dog someday, but with three cats and a tiny apartment, it's not an option now. But doing the transports lets me at least play with a dog on my own for a little while. I'll show you all pictures afterwards :)

cardigan - Forever21 / top - Kohl's / skirt - thrifted / belt - thrifted / 
shoes - Target / necklaces - New York & Company & my grandmother

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Signs of Spring

Good lord, can you believe I'm still sick? Luckily I think it's the tail end of this cold, but jeeeeez it sure knows how to overstay its welcome. And of course I have to give a presentation this evening with my stuffy man-voice! I feel bad for the people in my class. Here's hoping to no coughing fits during the thing. Or better yet, if someone asks me a difficult question that I have no idea how to answer, THEN I'll go into a coughing fit. Perfect!

On the bright side, spring is creeping into South Carolina. No outfit post today since I still feel like garbage, but please enjoy a few scenes from my back yard.



My yard was full of birds today, it was really nice to hear them while I worked this afternoon. I wish I had fabric with a print like the above pictures!


Most places in the coastal south don't have *real* grass-- my house falls into this category. But instead, lately these little white flowers have been popping up all over the yard. Aren't they cute? I like it better than grass anyway :)

And finally the potted miniature rose K got me for Valentine's Day, soaking up some sun. 

I still find it hard to believe we had 7 inches of snow so recently. Here's hoping for signs of spring in your part of the country, too!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Inspired Times

The sore throat I had earlier in the week has turned into full-blown nastiness. Yuck! Most of it has settled in my throat and chest, but I can't take decongestents because they dry my throat out too much and that's worse than the original ickiness. I guess I'll just have to wait this one out. I hope I feel better tomorrow, because this is supposed to be the nicest, warmest weekend we've had yet this year. So tonight, I'm relaxing under a blanket and watching Harry Potter movies. I loved the books, but I haven't seen most of the movies. It seems like a good time to catch up!

This being the case, I'm doing an inspiration post rather than an outfit post today. I really love period films, both for the stories and for the costumes! When I was in high school, I did a lot of acting with the drama club. My senior year, I got to play Hermia in A Midsummer Night's Dream, and I absolutely adored wearing the costumes. I still have my dresses from it! Of course, some of the dresses from way-back-when look downright uncomfortable. But the fashions of those times have so much intricate detail work, and amounts of fabric seem to be no object.

Here are some favorites:


I think Renee Zellweger's costumes from Miss Potter could easily be adapted into modern outfits. I love the mix of masculine and feminine in this one.


This character from the series Cranford was ahead of her time with the belted scarf trend! 


OK, I love Zoe Deschanel and Kirsten Dunst, both of whom are incredibly popular in the world of fashion blogging, but Kate Winslet is also near the top in my book. She's so classy, and she has a body type that I can relate to-- she's not teeny-tiny in weight or frame, and she's on the the taller side. Her styles in film and real life are classy and sophisticated. Definitely a role model of mine.


It's difficult to see this costume from the movie Amadeus in this photo, but it's such a great design! This is one of those movies that you have to see for the costume and set design, even if you don't care for classical music. 


And how can you talk about period films without mentioning the brilliant Marie Antoinette?  I wish women still used beautiful fans like this. I think part of my love for florals comes from this movie.


Vanity Fair is another great one to watch for the costumes and set. Also, Reese Witherspoon is excellent as Becky Sharp.


Sure, the Tudor-era clothing borders on the uncomfortable, but you can't deny the spare-no-expense luxuriousness of the designs. (Is "luxuriousness" a word? Maybe my cold medicine is messing with me...)

What about you? Do you love period film costumes as well? What eras do you take inspiration from?

films & series, in order: Miss Potter, Cranford, Sense & Sensibility, 
Amadeus,  Marie Antoinette, Vanity Fair, The Tudors 

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Bumblebee floral


Ugh, it needs to warm up enough to spend time outside! I looove being outside, but anything under 60 is too chilly to just relax outdoors. I'll go jogging or walking as long as it's above 45 or so, but I really love doing my research outside on the back porch (pictured here!).


I was feeling less than chipper when I woke up because I had a sore throat. Still do, actually :(  I don't know if I'm getting a cold, or if my throat is just "gari gari" because I burnt some squash gratin last night and the whole downstairs was smoky. Ick! "Gari gari" is one of my favorite words in Japanese, because I feel like it conveys a feeling better than English can. My throat is "gari gari" if I'm around people smoking too long, or if K cooks bacon without opening a window in our tiny apartment. You know what I mean? That kinda raspy, hoarse, ickiness.... gari gari! 

Anyway, the colors in this outfit brightened my mood!  And yes, I'm still in love with this mustard cardigan :)

Something else that brightened my mood today is listening to Okinawan music, particularly 島唄 ("Island song") by The Boom. Have any of you heard it? It's become, like, THE song of Okinawa, and is ubiquitous at Okinawan karaoke boxes. It's such a great song and it makes me a little nostalgic for the summers I spent in Japan when I was younger. Ahhh...



By the way, thanks for the sweet comments on my last post!  You guys made my day :)  


Now time for some leftover strawberry pie! I opted to make strawberry pie for Valentine's Day instead of chocolate cake or something in the interest of health this year. It's really refreshing in this cool weather, and makes me hopeful for spring.

top - Forever21 / dress - Elle / tights - Urban Outfitters / 
cardigan - thrifted / belt - Charlotte Russe

Monday, February 15, 2010

Blue Rose


Remember the fabrics I bought a couple of weeks ago? Here's what I made out of the one with the blue rose print!

I finished it on Saturday night, just in time to wear on Valentine's Day :)  That's when I took these pictures. OK, I know I look sunburned or something in these, but I'm not, really! It was super bright outside, but when I tried to darken the pictures it got a little wonky. Well, I've never claimed to be a great photographer.  I just wanted to show you all the dress I'm so proud of!


This was my first time doing real gathering, at the bust and on the tops of the sleeves. I think it turned out pretty nice, if I do say so myself!

When I finished it and put it on for the first time, I held my breath as I zipped it up, and when it went all the way up without a hitch, I started dancing around the room. I didn't make it too tight (which was my biggest fear), the zipper didn't fall off when I tried to zip it up, I didn't rip a huge hole in the back or anything! It's a fully functional dress! 

Small miracles, eh?


I can't wait to start on my next one. I have some other patterns waiting for me, so it's decision time!

I'll be accessorizing this one in the future, but I wanted it to really shine on its own today :)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Note to Mother Nature

Dear Mother Nature,

I believe it now, OK?!!



The snow came, and it started out fun...


Then things got a little more serious later in the evening...

And then just crazy!
It's all melting away this morning, but I got to snap a few pictures while it's still here.



I forgot how blinding snow can be!



South Carolina, I know you're under there somewhere!!

scarf - Target / top, jacket - old, dunno / skirt - Free People / 
tights - Target / boots - Shoe Carnival

Friday, February 12, 2010

Can it be spring yet?


I got this great cardigan at a thrift store for $4, can you believe it? I was eyeing one at the mall for nearly 10 times the price of this one. Score!

Sorry for the stiff-looking pose. The truth is, I feel pretty stiff today because I pulled a muscle in my neck yesterday somehow, and I'm having trouble moving around. I can't turn my head to the right at all, and I can't look up very well, which makes me too nervous to drive. So, I'm taking the day off and doing as much work on the dictionary as I can from home.


I was wearing pearls with the cardigan and lace top earlier, but it looked a little too Stepford, so I ditched them. 


I decided to make it a three-pattern outfit: floral, lace, and stripes. I lovelovelove these shoes. I know it's pretty early in the season to wear them, but I'm ready to wear sleeveless dresses and open-toed shoes already! Last year during spring break, which is the second week of March for me, it was sunny and mid-80s. And this morning when I checked the forecast, I found out that central South Carolina is under a winter storm warning until 6:00 am tomorrow morning! What?! They're calling for 3-4 inches here in the capital.  Well, the last time they called for snow here--January 2009, the day of Obama's inauguration in fact--they predicted 5 inches overnight and a wintry mix the following day. The whole city shut down, and they interviewed kids on the news about how excited they were to experience their first real snow. But when we woke up the next morning, there was nothing on the ground. There were some flurries during Obama's speech, then it was sunny and clear for the rest of the day. So I'll believe it when I see it.


These guys are called shiisaa. I got them in Miyako, and they're supposed to protect the house and family. I love how every house in Okinawa has a pair of these guarding the entrance. I'm hoping today these guys do their job and keep the snow away! 


Bijou wants to be a shiisaa, too! She's sitting on the chair that K reupholstered in about 20 minutes. I love the material. He's going to make a backing for the chair as well when he has time. I love my handyman :)

cardigan - Liz Claiborne, thrifted / top - old, dunno / jeans - old / shoes - thrifted

Monday, February 8, 2010

Something a little more nautical


Some people have wondered about the name of my blog. Not about the "magnolia" part, of course, but about the "matcha" part. Matcha is a strong powdered form of green tea which is used at Japanese tea ceremonies. It's supposed to be really healthy for you. Sadly it's really expensive, too, so I use mine sparingly. Yesterday I used a little bit to flavor a batch of waffles, pictured above. No, the color settings on your monitor do not need to be adjusted, those waffles are actually green! K likes his with syrup, like normal waffles, but I prefer my matcha waffles with powdered sugar. Yummy!


I finally mustered up the courage to wear the red tights that I mentioned a few weeks ago! I was going for a modern nautical look here, but I'm afraid it borders on 4th-of-July. I guess that's one of the big risks of red tights. What do you think?



I got a haircut last week, finally! They took off more than I expected, but I still like it. There are lots of layers, and I like how much it's angled around my face. 


dress - Forever 21 / jacket - Kohl's / tights - Urban Outfitters / belt - thrifted / shoes - Payless