Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Red Gingham | Picnic Pretties Mood Board

I'm going to be honest...These photos are heavily inspired by this blog post from Noelle's Favorite Things. It just so happens that her photos were exactly what I envisioned when I bought the Sprecher's Cherry-Cran soda for an old-fashioned soda-pop theme. Summer days are made for grabbing a cold, bubbly drink, a stack of books, and heading out to kick back in the grass for a while. You can also see my entire Picnic Pretties Mood Board here on Pinterest.


And yes, my daughter and I do having matching red gingham rompers because I'm obsessed with her and I'm also ridiculous. But, c'mon! Look at the cuteness! If anyone else is as ridiculous as me and happens to have an adorable daughter that you enjoy twinning with, definitely check out Old Navy because they often use the same prints across all their clothing sizes, which makes twinning with a toddler easy peasy lemon squeezey.

The styling was pretty easy, as well. Matching red lip, straw hat, complementary yellow shoes, and you've got the perfect outfit to chill out in on a hot, summer day. 


Romper: Old Navy (similar in straight sizes, similar in plus) | Hat: Thrifted (similar) | Shoes: Modcloth (similar) | Lips: M.A.C. lipstick in So Chaud

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Life After Life | BBRBF Book Club + Outfit

What a book. What a colossal book Life After Life by Kate Atkinson was.

Synopsis from the book cover: On a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born, the third child of a wealthy English banker and his wife. She dies before she can draw her first breath. On that same cold and snowy night, Ursula Todd is born, lets out a lusty wail, and embarks upon a life that will be, to say the least, unusual. For as she grows, she also dies, repeatedly, in any number of ways. Ursula's world is in turmoil, facing the unspeakable evil of the two greatest wars in history. What power and force can one woman exert over the fate of civilization -- if only she has the chance?

I chose this book for the curious plot that was set at the beginning of the 20th century and because it came very highly recommended by a lot of people. This massive book was quite the undertaking. Not only was it long but it was a slow read. There were parts of this book that were like trudging through sand. The book covers decades from the Edwardian era all the way through to the Postwar era. Despite the exciting times that this existed in, there were moments that were just plain mundane and tedious. Moments that I wanted to abandon the book and not come back to it.

That being said, I do not think this was a bad book at all. One could easily hack out half the book and still have a wonderful story because when it got good it was good. As Ursula is living her lives and ultimately coming to tragic ends again and again it was like reading in an ocean tide. The story would come to these great surges of well written excitement and tragedy only to come crashing down and start over with the trudging...again...and again. The life where Ursula was married to an abusive man was so painfully real and terrifying and her time in the Air Raid Precautions Department during the London Blitz was breathtakingly tragic. But, then we'd get plunked right back into Fox's Corner to start again. Which, while I didn't find that enjoyable, might just be the experience that the author wanted us to have to immerse us into Ursula's cyclic existence. By the end of this book I felt confounded and exhausted and I have a sense that is exactly what Kate Atkinson wanted.

 And can we please talk about the end?! I don't even know what to do with that ending. Is Ursula stuck forever being reborn no matter what she does? And there were some serious allusions to Sylvie and Teddy having the same affliction. Is everyone living and dying again? Just some? Were the random scenes written from other character's perspectives, speckled through out the book and then shot at us rapid fire at the end, supposed evidence that others are living like this too and Ursula's isn't the only perspective in this circular universe? What was the significance of Roland? Why was the midwife, who had no bearing in the story at all, the last character we see? That's purposeful! But, for the life of me I don't understand the purpose. If you've read the book, I would love to know what you took away from all of this.

On a scale of Total Pile to Masterpiece, I'd give this book a Glad I Read It, But I'm Also Glad It's Over.

I had no clue what I was going to wear for this book until this gorgeous dress stumbled into my life just days before the review was due. Goodwill delivers again! Not only were the colors and print perfect, but the sweetheart neckline reminded me of 1930's glamour and I played that up with the red lips and flowing hair. I imagine this was somewhat of Ursula's look in the opening scene of the book when she is described as looking like a movie star.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Stranded at the Drive-in | Picnic Pretties Mood Board

What is more iconic and nostalgic than the drive-in during summer? Loading up in the car with blankets and pillows, getting there nice and early to get a prime parking spot, stretching out on the grass with all your snacks and cold drinks. It's one of my absolute favorite summertime activities and even though these outdoor cinemas are slowly disappearing, we will always drive as far as we have to for the experience.


Sometimes, for me, style is about playing a character. On this night I was the 1950's housewife transported right into a by-gone summer. I felt like my grandmother in her youth chasing children around a drive-in in the easy, feminine style that she did so well. The picnic theme is running strongly through this whole outfit from the fruit print on the skirt to the subtle checker pattern on the top. I added yet another Erstwilder brooch because this cute little camper reminds me a lot of my grandmother, as well. And even though there is no yellow in the skirt, the yellow of the shoes is the same tone of bright, saturated colors that are used in the print and makes a happy addition to the overall color scheme.

You can check out my Picnic Pretties mood board on Pinterest here. Can you tell which images inspired this specific outfit?

Have any of you seen Finding Dory, yet? Did you see it at a Drive-in???

Shirt: Kohl's (similar in plus) | Skirt: Thrifted (similar, similar, similar, similar in plus ) | Shoes: Modcloth (similar) | Brooch: Erstwilder | Lips: Colourpop's UItra Matte Liquid Lipstick in Scrooge