A Little Bit of Inspiration

Howdy!

(Photo by Pat Zimmerman)

(Photo by Pat Zimmerman)

I’m starting this post out with a photo of my favorite comfy coat. It’s made out of sweatshirt material – really, it’s like a flirty, dress-friendly hoodie. I love that I can wear it around the house, on a bike ride across the Golden Gate Bridge (just did that last weekend!), and over a cute dress. :)

But this blog post is really about the outfit I’m wearing under the coat. See, when I got up in the morning I was at a loss for what to wear. And then I perused ModCloth’s Style Gallery (one of my fave places for outfit inspiration), and was inspired by some great looks from fabulous gals like . . .

Jana G. (left) of Small Town, Big Smile! who added spice to a mint dress with a red belt and cardigan. And Ashley R. (right) of Not Your Average Ashley, who paired a red polka dot dress with a sweet mint cardigan.

And THEN I looked into my closet . . . and found a shocking dearth of mint. :(

But some of the other outfits that caught my eye incorporated lovely shades of aqua instead. Like the outfit posted by Amanda L. (left) of Modern June Cleaver. And the one posted by Katie M. (right), a.k.a. Amelia Jetson.

And I happened to have bought a charming aqua dress recently – it was sitting in my closet, just waiting for the inspiration to wear it!

(Photo by Pat Zimmerman)

(Photo by Pat Zimmerman)

Though I am thinking that I need to get some mint-colored pieces for the future. :)

P.S. You can see more of my favorite Style Gallery photos here!

Coat: Soaring Comets Coat, Effie’s Heart via ModCloth (out of stock, but still available directly from Effie’s Heart)
Dress: Front Perch Swing Dress, Retrolicious via ModCloth
Cardigan: The Dream of the Crop Cardigan in Black, Mak via ModCloth
Belt: Calderon, thrifted
Tights: Nordstrom Rack
Shoes: DKNY

[Photos of me by Pat Zimmerman.]

Gaudy by Nature

Happy Wear Something Gaudy Day!

Maybe you weren’t aware that October 17th is Wear Something Gaudy Day, but it is. Teh interwebs say so.

I celebrated the day by tapping into my inner Liberace and donning a metallic copper floral skirt, sequined top, and Rainbow-Brite-inspired shoes. Not to mention sparkly earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and rings. Oh yeah, and a Ring Pop!

Gasp! How FABULOUS!  (Photo by Julie Murrell.)

Gasp! How FABULOUS! (Photo by Julie Murrell.)

So what’s your favorite fashion item that verges on gaudiness? Or maybe one that blatantly crosses the line and is all out AWESOME?

What I wore:
Top: Nordstrom Rack
Skirt: Songs by the Fire Skirt, Bettie Page via ModCloth
Shoes: Rainbow Road Wedge, Poetic License via ModCloth
Belt: Calderon, thrifted

[Photo by Julie Murrell.]

Greetings from Kentucky!

Okay, it’s been awhile since I posted. A long while. Things were crazy busy at the beginning of the year, and then I got out of the blogging habit, and then I couldn’t figure out the right way to start a post again. Amazing how quickly 9 months can go by like that! :O

So, hello again! And now I’m just going to dive right into a new post. (I never did quite figure out the right way to get started again – please forgive the lame/nonexistent segue!)

Howdy!  (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Howdy! (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

This past weekend Pat and I headed to Kentucky for a friend’s wedding. And before the festivities started, we went bourbon tasting. The weather was absolutely perfect, and our visit to Four Roses Distillery provided the perfect backdrop for some outfit pics.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

This skirt is one of my recent faves – it’s got spaceships! And robots! What that has to do with bourbon, I don’t know – but the weather was nice and I just felt like wearing it.

Whiskey barrels make the perfect pedestals.  (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Whiskey barrels make the perfect pedestals. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

And since we were at Four Roses, we were surrounded by (you guessed it) roses. Of course I had to stop and smell them (alas, these weren’t the particularly fragrant kind).

Yes, I do take time to stop & smell the roses!  (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Yes, I do take time to stop & smell the roses! (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

After taking photos outside, we went on the grand distillery tour – then I snagged a shot of Pat behind the tasting bar. He was wearing a wooden bow tie. Because it’s awesome. And totally fits with the bourbon theme.

Enjoying Four Roses bourbon.

Enjoying Four Roses bourbon.

Cheers!

Soon I’ll post the outfit I wore to my friend’s wedding. And I promise it won’t take me months to get around to!

What I wore:
Top: Stick with Knit Cardigan, Mak via ModCloth
Skirt: Outta This World Skirt, Rock Steady via ModCloth
Shoes: Turning Point Heel, Seychelles via ModCloth
Purse: Longchamp

[Photos of me by Pat Zimmerman. Photo of Pat by me.]

Not Quite a White Christmas

I hope y’all have been having a lovely holiday!

Around here, it’s been doing the winter precipitation thing. Alas, not of the white and fluffy variety . . . more of the grey and rainy type. But for native Northern Californians, like my husband, it’s traditional holiday weather. The upside is that there’s lots of rich greenery around.

Tut, tut, it looks like rain. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Tut, tut, it looks like rain. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

In celebration of the season, I donned a little greenery myself . . . that is, this green cardi by Darling. I thought it perfectly complemented the copper tones of my holiday-ready skirt from Bettie Page.

Copper and evergreen. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Copper and evergreen. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

And although I stepped outside briefly to take these outfit photos, I spent most of the day cozied up inside with my husband, in-laws, and pups. Because that’s what the holidays are all about, right? Staying warm & cozy with your loved ones?

Enjoying the holiday! (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Enjoying the holiday! (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Hope you had a lovely Christmas! Any special plans for the New Year?

Skirt: Songs by the Fire Skirt, Bettie Page via ModCloth
Cardigan: Game of Chance Cardigan, Darling via ModCloth
Shirt: Banana Republic
Earrings: vintage (Christmas gift from my step-mom, originally worn by her mother)
Boots: Wonders

Le Fabuleux Monde de la Maison Cointreau

Take one part delicious orange liqueur, one part glamourous style icon, and a hearty dash of marvelous personalities. Stir (or shake, if you prefer!) and voilà! You’ve got yourself a taste of La Maison Cointreau.

Last week, Cointreau debuted La Maison Cointreau at Big Daddy’s Antiques in San Francisco: a fabulous world filled with decadence, glamour, music, and cocktails. As the evening opened, Dita von Teese made an appearance, posing for photographs and chatting with reporters. (Oh, for the record: she’s even more gorgeous in person!)

Dita von Teese poses for photos against a backdrop of Cointreau bottles.

Dita von Teese poses for photos against a backdrop of Cointreau bottles.

Dita von Teese chats with a reporter.

Dita von Teese chats with a reporter.

Throughout the evening, bartenders kept guests’ glasses full with Cointreau-based cocktails. My favorite of the evening was the classic Sidecar:
1 1/2 oz Remy VSOP
3/4 oz Cointreau
3/4 oz lemon juice
Shake with ice and strain into a chilled glass rimmed with sugar.

Preparing Cointreau cocktails.

Preparing Cointreau cocktails.

One of the things I enjoyed about the event was eyeing the fabulous style of the guests.

Guests posing for the camera.

Guests posing for the camera.

I was lucky to run into Meghan of Voilà!, who has a chic, ladylike style that I admire…

With Meghan of Voilà! (Photo courtesy of Meghan.)

With Meghan of Voilà! (Photo courtesy of Meghan.)

And I met Danielle the Dressmaker, who rocked a vibrant, flirty dress of her own creation:

Danielle the Dressmaker, wearing one of her own creations.

Danielle the Dressmaker, wearing one of her own creations.

But the highlight of the evening was the mini cabaret, which started off with a glass performance by Johnny Rodgers and kicked into high gear with a dynamic, retro vocal set by chanteuse Lady Rizo. Nicole Renaud added a fun French flair with her accordion.

A glimpse of Lady Rizo's energizing performance.

A glimpse of Lady Rizo’s energizing performance.

Enfin, Dita von Teese took over the stage with a playful and seductive burlesque performance set in a tropical Hawaiian scene. Alas, the audience was asked not to take photos, but Haute Living has a few shots online if you’re truly curious. :)

To be honest, I didn’t need much convincing to like Cointreau – it was already in my liquor cabinet since it’s a necessary component in Singapore Slings, and I use it in my version of the Boston Bog (recipes below). But I enjoyed the opportunity to try out new cocktails and soak in the divine atmosphere!

Cheers!

Cheers! (Photo courtesy of Meghan.)

What I wore:
Dress: vintage 1950s LBD via Eons Fashion Antique in Pittsburgh, PA
Earrings: Magicicada Earrings, Erica Weiner via ModCloth
Bracelet: Victorian mourning bracelet
Shoes: Giuseppe Zanotti via The Outnet
Purse: Cole Haan Valise Archer leather satchel via Rue La La

Also check out Meghan’s post!

Singapore Sling:
1 oz gin
1/2 oz cherry brandy
4 oz pineapple juice
1/2 oz lime juice
1/4 oz Cointreau
1/4 oz Benedictine
1/3 oz grenadine (I make mine from scratch – details in this post)
1 dash Angostura bitters
Shake with ice and strain into a Collins Glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry and a pineapple wedge.

Boston Bog (my variation on the original recipe by Misty Kalkofen; click here for the full recipe):
6 fresh cranberries (+ 1 for garnish)
1 1/2 oz aged or reserve rum
1/2 oz ginger syrup (a dash of Benedictine & simple syrup make for a good substitute)
2 tsp lemon juice (or 1/2 oz if using fresh lemons)
2 tsp Cointreau
Muddle cranberries, add remaining ingredients, shake with ice, and double strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a cranberry.

[Photos by me except where otherwise noted.]

What to Wear to the Polls

This morning before work, I headed to the polls to vote. And of course I couldn’t wear just any old thing to the polls. So voilà, my election-inspired outfit:

All decked out at the polls, in red, white, and blue. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

All decked out at the polls, in red, white, and blue. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

And my necklace? A nod to my favorite political movie, which prominently featured a certain political catchphrase. Bonus points if you know the catchphrase, and double bonus points if you can guess the movie!

A nod to my favorite political movie. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

A nod to my favorite political movie. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

P.S. Just because elections are important doesn’t mean you can’t have a little fun with them . . . and involve your pup, too!

Rocky gets into the spirit. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Rocky gets into the spirit. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

So, did you cast your vote?

Top: Zara
Skirt: Streak Clearly Skirt by Rock Steady via ModCloth
Necklace: vintage watch fob
Bracelet: Nordstrom (a gift)
Shoes: Hit the Rodeo Heel by Miss L. Fire via ModCloth

[All photos by Pat Zimmerman]

Can’t Hardly Wait to Take the Wine Train!

So I mentioned in an earlier post that I recently celebrated my 3 year anniversary at ModCloth – and I had the honor of having a dress named after me! It incorporates a few of my absolutely favorite things . . .

Wearing my namesake 'Can't Hardly Kate Dress'. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Wearing my namesake “Can’t Hardly Kate Dress”. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

    • Mid-century vintage style? Check!
    • Colorful? Check!
    • With lots of yellow? Check!
    • Illustrating one of my favorite cities? Check!
Detail of the skirt. I absolutely adore this 19th century New Orleans French Quarter scene! (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Detail of the skirt. I absolutely adore this 19th century New Orleans French Quarter scene! (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

    • With pockets? . . .
Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

    • YES! POCKETS! Check and CHECK!

Of course, a dress this wondrous can’t be debuted just any old place. Which is why, as eager as I was to wear it out the moment it arrived, I waited until the day Pat & I headed up to Napa and took an evening ride on the Napa Valley Wine Train.

All aboard the Wine Train! (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

All aboard the Napa Wine Train! (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

I mean, clearly the Wine Train was the place to wear this dress – it matched & everything!

About to embark on a sunset dinner on the Napa Valley Wine Train. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

About to embark on a sunset dinner on the Wine Train. (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

. . . but besides that, I would recommend taking a ride on the Wine Train if you have the chance. It’s a really pleasant way to spend the afternoon (over lunch) or evening (over dinner), traveling through Napa Valley. I hadn’t thought to try the train out before (this trip was inspired by a gift certificate from Pat’s parents), but I hope to go again! Not only is the view fabulous, but the food is quite good! (Though if you do plan on taking the evening train, I recommend checking out sunset times and make sure to schedule your trip during a part of the year when you can catch the sunset.)

And as you might expect on something called the “Wine Train”, there’s a good selection of local wines, which always makes me happy!

Enjoying my time on the Wine Train! (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Enjoying my time on the Wine Train! (Photo by Pat Zimmerman.)

Dress: Can’t Hardly Kate Dress, Trashy Diva via ModCloth
Necklace: Coro, vintage
Belt: Calderon, thrifted
Bracelet: Victorian mourning bracelet
Shoes: Hot for Hemlock Heel in Crimson, Chelsea Crew via ModCloth
Purse: Cole Haan Valise Archer leather satchel via Rue La La

[All photos by Pat Zimmerman]