pink sweater navy floral skirt brown heeled oxfords by 14 shades of grey

For some reason, I’ve been really neglecting my skirts this winter (you can just tell by how wrinkled this skirt is.) Since January, I’ve only had four skirt outfits. I guess I just got bored with skirts. They’re more difficult to style than dresses, especially in the winter – you have to figure out what top to go with it, what tights, what kind of shoes, belt or no belt… I spent nearly half an hour trying on different tights and sweaters before settling with these, but I wasn’t happy with the result. The tights are completely lazy, and the neckline of this sweater, I realize, does not look good on a broad-shouldered person like me. I need something more boat-necked than this. Oh well. The truth is that I just wanted to show off my new heeled oxfords. I know, I know, buying new things is not the best way to break out of a style rut, but when I saw these, I couldn’t pass them up. Besides, they’re real leather, which means they’re super soft and comfy, so expect to see them a lot more on the blog in the foreseeable future.

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black tights navy floral skirt brown heeled oxfords by 14 shades of greypink sweater navy floral skirt vintage brooch by 14 shades of grey

Sweater: Gap (thrifted), Skirt: hand-me-down, Shoes: local shop, Brooch: vintage, Tights: Target


Book Review: The Children’s Book

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OK, disclaimer: I never, ever skim any book. I may put a book down and pick it up a couple of weeks later, but I don’t skim – heck, I read Twilight cover to cover to see what the fuss was about (I did see what the fuss was about, and I disagreed.) This one, though, I had to skim, and it’s nowhere near the densest book I’ve read. It’s just… boring. In my defense, I’m going to translate it anyway, so when I got to the last 100 pages I just skimmed to see what happens to each character.

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Anyway, “The Children’s Book”, by A.S. Byatt, is about several families in Edwardian England who move in a circle of liberal artists and writers, and the many secrets and tragedies that connect them. The title refers to a book that the main character, a writer of children fantasy loosely based on E. Nesbitt, writes for each of her children.

Edwardian era is one of my favorites, the characters are fascinating, so what’s the problem? Mainly, I think the book is more to showcase the author’s intensive research of the period rather than to tell an actual story. There are chapters after chapters detailing social, political, and artistic movements of the time, and I found myself asking “What does this have to do with anything?” There is not enough time to get to know any of the characters. I feel like the author only remembered to check in with those characters from time to time before getting back to her historical research. The parts that I’m interested in, the parts about the damage that the main character’s children suffer because of her focus on her art (she’s not exactly a neglectful mother, but she’s too busy making up stories about her children to see what is really going on with them), are really rushed, and the ending is just… there.

It’s too bad that every time I try reading a literature book (as opposed to my usual genre fictions of sci-fi and fantasy), I always end up disappointed. Seriously, do you guys have any recommendation? I’d like to expand my literary horizon a bit, but I don’t know where to begin.

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I tried to recreate an Edwardian look with my outfit, though my skirt is too full to be Edwardian. Still, there are a lot of descriptions of Liberty gown and William Morris fabric in the book, so I think the skirt works too.

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Sweater: Gap (thrifted), Skirt: vintage, Tights: Target, Shoes: Payless, Coat: Modcloth

Set The Fire To The Third Bar

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It’s been about five or six years since I spent a proper winter at home, and I don’t remember it ever being this cold. Also, our house is built for coolness and airiness, not warmth, so it’s not that much better inside either. My solution? Wear all the warm colors in my closet – toned down with some black and grey, of course, I don’t want to look like a walking electric heater. Speaking of electric heater, here’s a story about the titular song: even though it’s one of my favorite Snow Patrol songs, for the longest time I thought it was called “Set Fire to the Third Bar” and thought it was about actual fire-starting (figuratively, like maybe their passion sets fire to the bar where they’re meeting or something.) It wasn’t until recently that I found out “the third bar” referred to a bar in an electric heater, not a pub. Yeah, some hardcore fan I am.

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vintage western brooch black coat by 14 shades of grey

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Sweater: Gap (thrifted), Jeans: Wet Seal (thrifted),
Coat: Forever21, Brooch: gift, Boots: Vietnamese shop
Scarf: I honestly don’t know. It’s not mine. I grabbed it from the hook in the front hall because it’s the right color and it wouldn’t shed all over my coat like my wool scarves

The Finish Line

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And… I’m done with NaNoWriMo! Ten short stories + a treatment for a new book = 50,125 words. Now I just need to light another fire under my own ass to edit those stories and submit them somewhere. As for that new book (which is a totally rip-off of American Gods, by the way, except with Vietnamese deities), I’ve written a chapter, but I have a feeling I won’t touch it again until next year’s NaNo.

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red sweater floral dress by 14 shades of grey

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Sweater: Gap (thrifted), Dress: Jason Wu for Target, Pin: Oldish
Tights: Target (I think?), Boots: Journee, Post title: song by Snow Patrol

2012 Trad Nano Winner Certificate1.3

Urban Weeds

One of my laments about living in LA is that everything is so artificial; you can’t feel nature around you. So I was delighted to come across this vacant lot with grass and weeds growing freely (oh and, a random tractor, but it adds to the charm of the place.) There was a “remove weeds” notice already by the fence, so I had to sneak in before it was all gone. I got paranoid every time I heard a car approaching; luckily nobody caught me (I did get some weird looks, but I’m used to it now.) Come to think of it, “trespassing for a style blog photo shoot” would make a weird charge.

On an outfit-related note, it’s a copy of this pin (no original source, sorry.) Although, had I know I would be wading through waist-high weeds, I would’ve worn boots.

Shirt: thrifted, Sweater: Gap (thrifted), Jeans: Charlotte Russe
Oxfords: thrifted via Buffalo Exchange, Bracelet: self-made

And yes I ripped off the Urban Weeds blog name for the post title. I’ve featured it on a Blog of the Week before, but couldn’t hurt if it directed some stray search phrases my way 😉

Stumpy And Clumsy

I’ve been looking for a pair of trouser jeans, so I was really happy to find them on the sale at Old Navy, and just in time for ABC’s of Style challenge, “W for Wide-legged Jeans”, too. They’re super comfy, and I love how they make my stumpy legs look longer. I’ll probably have to take an inch off the hems if I want to walk in them without falling to my face though – these are my tallest heels and I still stepped on the hems. Or maybe I’m just a klutz.

Also, despite my anti-Valentine attitude, apparently I still feel residual influence from Valentine’s Day with the lace and the red sweater.

Sweater: Gap thrifted, Jeans: Old Navy
Shoes: Payless, Scarf: self-made, Brooch: thrifted

Annual Cold

This outfit is actually quite similar to the last time I wore this sweater – pleated skirt and oxfords. I don’t know what it is about this sweater but it apparently makes me dress like a schoolgirl every time I wear it.

I wasn’t planning on wearing a scarf, I just threw it on because I was feeling a sore throat coming. I’ve managed to suppress it with a lot of ginger tea, vitamin C and zinc throat lozenges, but I have yet to be sick this season and it makes me nervous (yes, I can count on having a really bad cold every year around Christmas. It’s like my body realizes it’s finally time to relax and lets the immune system take a vacation.)

Sweater: Gap, thrifted
Skirt: thrifted
Oxfords: Miss Me, via Buffalo Exchange
Coat & tights: Forever21
Necklace: self-made
Scarf: my dad’s (I think)

Linking up to Thursdays are for Thrifters