Happy Holidays

red coat camel sweater blue jeans brown ankle boots by 14 shades of grey

My plan to post Christmas-inspired casual outfits didn’t work out so well because I got sick and couldn’t put together anything more interesting than a few sweater-and-jean looks. Besides, the rewrite gig is picking up speed because we’d like to be done before the Lunar New Year at the end of January, it’s the end of the semester as well so I had to make sure all my students turn in their projects, and then I had my best friend’s engagement party to attend over the weekend (I’ll post photos later, if she ever comes around to sending them to me)… who knows that it actually gets busier at the end of the year?

Anyway, this is what I wore – the red coat and crisp white shirt are my nods to Christmas. I thought about wearing my Christmas tree brooch, but decided it would be too obvious. My family is going to have a little celebration tonight as usual, but other than that, it’s just another work day here. Merry Christmas everyone!

red coat camel sweater blue jeans by 14 shades of greyred coat camel sweater blue jeans by 14 shades of grey

white shirt camel sweater initial necklace by 14 shades of greyred coat camel sweater blue jeans brown ankle boots by 14 shades of grey

Shirt: Target, Sweater: J.Crew (thrifted), Coat: Forever21 (thrifted), Jeans: Mango, Boots: Steve Madden (thrifted), Necklace: gift (D for “Duc”)

Christmas Colors

cable knit sweater green scarf teal jeans black boots by 14 shades of grey

With less than a week until Christmas (!!!), I thought I’d show a bit of holiday spirit by putting together some outfits with holiday colors, kind of like what I did last year, except these will be more casual. So to start, I picked a combination not usually associated with Christmas anymore – blue and green. Of course this is more like teal and green, but you get the idea. Now if I could just build a collection of Christmas brooches other than my usual three…

cable knit sweater green scarf teal jeans by 14 shades of greycable knit sweater green scarf by 14 shades of grey

teal jeans black boots by 14 shades of greycable knit sweater green scarf teal jeans by 14 shades of grey

Sweater: New Look, Boots: local shop, Scarf: hand-me-down, Jeans: thrifted

Frohe Weihnachten

christmas tree by 14 shades of grey

Christmas is a relatively new thing in Vietnam. Our Christian populations have been celebrating it for ages, of course, but it’s only in the last 10 years or so that it’s become more of a nation-wide thing. People don’t do anything much other than putting up a few decorations and playing Christmas music., but our family usually makes a bigger deal out of it, because of our connection with Germany – both my parents, my sister and her husband studied there, and we are lucky that their German friends still travel regularly to Vietnam and bring us things like fir boughs, spiced cookies, and stollen. So it may not be our big winter festival (that is still the Lunar New Year, which will be around February), but we do have a lot of fun celebrating it. Merry Christmas everybody!

christmas tree by 14 shades of greychristmas tree by 14 shades of grey

christmas tree by 14 shades of greychristmas tree by 14 shades of grey

christmas tree by 14 shades of greychristmas pageant by 14 shades of grey
My niece at her kindergarten’s Christmas pageant. She had a bit of stage fright (hence that less-than-excited look)

christmas pageant by 14 shades of greychristmas pageant by 14 shades of grey

christmas stollen by 14 shades of grey

P/S: Jess and I have decided to give SIA a break this week since it’s the holiday and all. We’ll be back after the New Year, on January 7th.

Weekend Round-Up: Happy Holidays!

Things have slowed down a great deal around here, but I figure I might as well keep with the posting schedule, since I’m leaving next Tuesday for San Diego and won’t be back until after the New Year. Also, I was so excited to receive this Christmas card from Loren of The Inclined Plane (we’re doing Christmas card swap.) Adorable, right? Thank you so much, Loren! I’m afraid mine is not as nice…

Links of the Week:

- First off, a few inspirations for holiday outfits, in case you need something for a party later tonight: how to wear red and green together, and the wear*it Wednesday edition of holiday-inspired looks.

- Looking to the future, here’s the color trend forecast for 2012 (70’s appliances, really?) and Madewell’s extremely pretty Spring 2012 collection, which has been popping up all over Pinterest.

- I was featured as the Local Fashion Blogger on Go Chic or Go Home. Thank you, Cynthia, for putting together a lovely post.

- And, finally: I’m pretty sure most of you guys have seen this, but I have to spread the love: the trailer for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is here! Richard Armitage doesn’t even look like himself and I don’t care!

Blog of the Week: Another non-fashion blog for you guys – Krisatomic by Kristina. She’s a great photographer and wicked talented illustrator. I was inspired to get back into drawing and painting after looking at her lovely illustrations, but I have to resign to the fact that I’m not good at drawing people. Trees are more my specialty. Nevertheless, I love the colors and the graphic quality of Kristina’s works.

Book of the Week: “Salt: A World History” by Mark Kurlansky. I’m reading this as research for my next book (set in the salt mines of England.) I guess I think about salt more than the average person, since I cook, but it’s still fascinating to learn about it. For example, did you know that “salary” and “soldier” both originated from the Latin sal, meaning “salt”, because soldiers were paid in salt back then?

Song of the Week: “Tiny Tree Christmas” by Guster. In case you’re not sick of hearing it from those Time Warner commercials yet :)

And that’s it! I’ll try to post while I’m in San Diego, but no promises, so in case I won’t see you guys until next year, happy holidays everyone!

My Secret Garden

I was having trouble finding a location for the photo shoot when I stumbled across this little alley garden, which I’ve never looked inside because the gate was always locked. But this time it was opened, so I peeked in, and found something straight out of The Secret Garden - tree stumps with mushrooms growing on them, leaf-strewn ground, ivy everywhere… It’s magical. Although the whole time my heart was beating like crazy because I was afraid someone might come by and charge me with trespassing, it was too pretty to pass by.

Anyway, the outfit is something I would wear if I had a fancy Christmas party to go to. But since I’m going to spend Christmas cooking and eating (as one should), most likely I’m just going to chill in stretchy jeans and a comfy sweater. I’ll still wear the brooch though.

Dress: Zara, remixed
Sweater: Target
Tights: gift from my friend Trang
Shoes: Steven by Steve Madden thrifted, remixed
Brooch: vintage