With exception of the jumpsuit I wore in Portugal, this is my first outfit post of the year! I figured that now we’re on the cusp of Labor Day, I may as well show you an outfit that pretty much sums up what I’ve been wearing all summer: the sandals I’ve had wish listed for nearly three years and finally bought (worth every penny), a breezy dress, oversize rings by way of the moonstone beauties here and here (both c/o; also have this one), and that tote that probably has just a few weeks left before everyone grows tired of the PVC trend (but it’s on sale if you’re still digging it).
Not surprisingly, there were a fair amount of purchases while I was on my blog hiatus that I didn’t share. For home, there were deck lights, a grill, a cute wood box, a side table that’s on backorder, a vase, a surprisingly chic doorstop, and a vintage brass tray that looks like a patinaed version of this one. All in all, a good few months on the home front! Wardrobe purchases were more modest with a sweater, sneakers that are no longer available, my first foray into the headband trend, a dress, and a few workout items from Athleta and Target. (I’m obsessed with this hoodie that I bought in navy.) It was actually kind of refreshing to step back from the blog — and the pressure of always scouting out new items — and just enjoy what I already owned with just a few things sprinkled in to keep me from being bored!
PURCHASED – FOR ME
See all of this year’s sartorial additions here.
- Madewell ruffle strap polka dot dress (available here, here, and here) – I was trying to get through summer without purchasing many new items, since I do love what I already own for the season. But the truth is that I was getting bored and craved something new to add into the rotation. (Plus, I gained weight in Portugal that I haven’t lost yet and some of my favorite dresses just didn’t fit. Oops.) I bought this in my typical Madewell size and absolutely love the lightweight material and fit. It’s on the verge of being too large, but the buttons pull a little without a safety pin for modesty and a smaller size would have left too much gaping between them when I moved.
PURCHASED – FOR HOME
- A Meditation art print by Brian Sostrom – I love this print more than I can possibly tell you. I originally bought it for the bedroom, but Dave thought it was too moody (pssh — I think it’s calming) and I moved it to our entry. I went with the 18″ x 24″ print with the matte black metal frame. It has two hooks on top for hanging and I didn’t want to deal with getting two nails correctly spaced and level, so I used this tutorial to add picture wire.
- Schoolhouse Electric pillow shams in “Blooming Field” – I wanted to purchase these when they debuted this spring, but I kept hesitating. $36 on a king pillow sham is pricey, even though I loved them. I finally decided to go for it at the end of May and was crushed to see that they sold out. Schoolhouse said they’d be back in stock at the beginning of June. I checked every day that month. Nope. Then they said beginning of August. Nope. I finally received an email on Tuesday indicating they were available in limited quantities and I placed the order. I normally wait until items arrive to wax poetic, but if you want anything from the Blooming Field collection, now’s your chance. (I’m sure I’m going to adore them in person. I crushed hard on every item at the Schoolhouse flagship store in Portland last year.)
While I’m not one to go down the fall-attire rabbit hole too deeply before the calendar turns to September, it is just 17 days away and the siren song of a new handbag for the season is becoming increasingly hard to resist — especially when there are such statement-making bags available right now.
I fell hard for that Staud bag the moment I laid eyes on it and I’ve been daydreaming about the perfect ’70s-inspired ensembles to pair it with. It looks roomy enough for everyday essentials and the large opening appears like it would fit comfortably over a shoulder. Then there are those petite croc-embossed bags here and here (also in emerald) that are just begging for a ladylike look. And just look at the acrylic details on the strap of this bag and this one — and they’re both under $50! But then Cult Gaia steals the show with three photogenic bags that blow the Ark bag out of the water: a sculptural bamboo tote, a fluffy faux-fur top-handle bag, and a raffia woven handbag.
My goodness, it’s been nearly a month since I’ve last checked in here or on Instagram. I’ve been so focused on spending time away from a screen when I’m home that the blog hasn’t neared the top of my priority list. I’ve been soaking up this past month of summer visiting with friends, enjoying cocktails on our deck, attending Madison’s outdoor concerts, mastering our new grill, going for bike rides (even if I still haven’t lost the 10 pounds I gained in Portugal), and working on projects around the house that require nicer weather. It’s actually been really nice to take the self-imposed pressure of blogging off my plate so I can enjoy those perfect little moments.
Time away has also made me think about my relationship with blogging. I’ve been sharing my thoughts online ever since LiveJournal was a thing. When you’ve been “curating content” for that long, it’s easy to get discouraged by the numbers and the algorithms and the unbearably slow growth. I never wanted to make this my career, but I didn’t exactly want it to become stagnant. I really started to question things after coming across a disparaging comment about myself online that made me wonder whether or not any of this was worth it. I won’t get into the specifics, but it’s been a contributor to why I’ve pulled back.
Beyond that, I’ve been thinking about the content direction of this space. When I lived in an apartment, I wanted a blog that was focused on clothes and jewelry — and shopping for said clothes and jewelry. However, my interests have evolved in the past two years. Don’t get me wrong, I still love clothes and accessories (and just bought this perfect frock for summer), but I’ve been looking at purchases through a more sustainable lens. I really want each item I buy to be special and to earn its space in my closet; not just chase a trend or be an impulse buy. Plus, the majority of my online shopping time is now spent browsing for house items and debating things like window treatments and searching for the perfect vintage fill-in-the-blank. I think the natural progression of things is to have a blend between home- and style-related content, plus travel. Those are ultimately the three pillars that make me feel creative and fulfilled, and the aspects I’d like to write about and share with you. (On that note, I’d also like to be better about cross-posting house content to Curated Couple, which fell by the wayside, so that becomes a diary of our home that we can look back on.) I guess the only way to get my feet wet again is to jump in and create posts with topics that speak to me and hope you find inspiration or insight from them, too. We’ll see how this shakes out!
And, to catch up on a few random things:
- While it seems wildly indulgent, we booked another trip to Europe this year. We’ll be heading to Brussels for the first week of December for Christmas markets and to restock our supply of Belgian beer (priorities).
- We spent a weekend with Dave’s parents, sister, and brother-in-law up at his parents’ lake house in central Wisconsin. I’ve pretty much decided that anything that includes a fire pit and mosquitoes is camping.
- Bacon has been more affectionate ever since his near-death experience back in May when he was extremely ill. He has also developed hairballs for the first time in his 11 years of his life. We’ll take the bad with the good.
- I just ordered artwork for the bedroom, which I’m pretty darn excited about. Dave thinks it’s too moody, but I find it peaceful.
- When we moved in, one of my biggest annoyances was that the screw covers were never installed on the trim of our patio door. From afar, they looked like black polka dots in the border of the windows. To make matters worse, I couldn’t find the manufacturer of the door anywhere on it. I thought about replacing the door entirely, but uh, a double patio door is effing expensive. Anyway, I randomly came across them when looking through a box of things we pulled out of the junk drawer on closing day. The joy and relief I felt were indescribable. Haha.
- The most recent season of Veronica Mars?! Whoa.
I typically take a boatload of photos while we’re abroad, but I’m not sure I’ve ever taken nearly 2,000 in one week until we visited Lisbon. There were gorgeous vignettes to take in everywhere we turned — and that was largely thanks to the beautiful tile work that adorned even the most modest of buildings. So, I thought I’d kick off my Portugal travel posts with the azulejos of Lisbon.