Travel Log: Venice in Photographs

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I took and edited these photographs in 2012 and never did anything with them – today I am remembering what a vibrant and bustling city Venice was and is. What the people of this beautiful country have endured recently is truly heartbreaking.

Italy, we love you and our hearts break with yours.

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“Plaid” About These Pants

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H&M jacket, Old Navy graphic tee, Abercrombie pants

Back in the fall, I purchased these plaid pants on sale. In the last year or so, I have started taking more risks with my personal style and these pants were definitely not something I would have normally worn. While the flare silhouette has always and will always remain a staple in my closet, the print is definitely out of my comfort zone. I have been so pleasantly surprised with how often I have reached for these pants over the last few months. I have paired them with fitted sweaters and oversized turtlenecks and most recently, a graphic tee and moto jacket. What item in your closet has surprised you with how often you wear it?

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Fashion History: A-Line Silhouette

Today’s post is a bit different than previous posts. Up until last November, I was enrolled in a Fashion Marketing and Retail Management program with the hope of graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree. Due to unforeseen circumstances, both in my personal life and at the school I was completing the program through, that is currently on hold. My goal is to absolutely complete my degree at some point. I generally loved the program’s course material, specifically the fashion focused courses. On a recent Saturday morning, while drinking my coffee and reading a book about the history of fashion, I realized how much fashion history inspired me and how much I missed researching and learning about the subject. I have always loved learning about the beginnings of fashion, textile, styles, and silhouettes and it occurred to me that perhaps others might want to learn a bit about the subject as well, so here we are.

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Ensemble. 1955. Photograph. Met Museum, New York City.

One of my absolute favorite silhouettes is the A-line. The A-line was popular in the 1970s, but actually arrived on the fashion scene in the 1950s. “A-line” can be descriptive of several garments of clothing, including dresses, skirts, and coats. The shape is narrow and fitted at the top of a garment and then widens out in a straight line to the hem. For example, in a dress, the bust would be narrow and fitted and then flare out toward the bottom of the skirt in a straight line. Or in more condensed terms, the garment appears to form the shape of the capital letter “A”.

In Spring 1955, the A-line silhouette came into the fashion world via Christian Dior in Paris. The designer created collections in the mid-1950s and named them based upon the silhouettes he used, which were A, H, and Y. From this beginning, the A-line became the essential silhouette of the 1960s-70s. As time has passed, hemlines have changed, but the A-line remains.

HOW I WEAR IT:

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Forever 21 top, Loft skirt, Louise et Cie booties

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Target blazer, Dove’s t-shirt, Old Navy skirt, Splendid boots

The Blue Coat that “Fit”

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Rachel Zoe coat, old sweater, Gap jeans, Doc Marten shoes, hat from South Korea, Delphes Paris star necklace, Tiffany & Co. lock necklace 

Shopping mid-December in Bozeman, I saw this blue coat. At the time, I was in a hurry, looking for Christmas gifts, and *trying* not to find or buy anything for myself. But then I got home and couldn’t stop thinking about the dang coat. Do I really need another coat? (I live in Montana, so I will probably always answer yes to this question.) Can I wear it enough to justify the purchase? (I probably put at least 5-10 outfits together in my head.) Will I luck out and find it at the respective store in Helena. (You guessed it, yep.)

I am honestly really happy that I went back for it. You know those pieces that just excite you and inspire you and just make you feel like, well, “you?” This is definitely one of those pieces for me. Until recently, I bought many things because they were on trend. I mean, I still shopped the sales and frequented the thrift stores to find them, but I really didn’t know what my style preferences and inspirations really were. However, I’m starting to see patterns in the things I love, recognize decades and time periods whose silhouettes and styles I am drawn to, pinpoint the things that inspire me, and notice the things that just feel “right.” And, the thing is, when you’re collecting things that you really love, whether it is clothing or antiques or various other things we tend to collect – you can’t go wrong, really. It will all come together because it all feels like you. I still follow the trends and love and buy some of them, but if they don’t feel like me, then, well, I just don’t buy them. It just wouldn’t “fit me” right.

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Walt Disney World: Polynesian Resort

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One of my favorite resorts to visit, anytime, is Disney’s Polynesian Resort at Walt Disney World. While we’ve never actually stayed in any of the Disney Resorts, we love visiting them, eating at their restaurants, and just taking in the ambiance of each one. Jason and I experienced our very first trip to a Disney Park at Christmastime in 2009. Disney is even more magical at Christmas and we love visiting around the holidays! A couple of years ago, while living in Colorado, we decided to road trip it to Florida for Addy’s first trip to Disney.

We enjoyed a few days in the parks and then spent some time touring the resorts and taking in their decor and of course, their gorgeous trees themed to each respective resort. I have to say, I think the Polynesian Resort’s tree was my favorite. Perhaps it is because I have always had an affinity for all things Polynesian or that the resort has some definite nods to my favorite architectural style (Mid-Century Modern), but I really, really loved it. The Polynesian is one of only two Walt Disney World resorts that were there from the beginning (the second being my other favorite – The Contemporary Resort).

This time around, we had a delicious breakfast at Kona Cafe together. I may not have a picture of the Tonga Toast I devoured, but let me tell you, it was probably in my “Top 10 Disney Foods” I have ever eaten! We wandered around taking in all the retro-tiki (!!) vibes, taking fun photos wherever we found the perfect spot.

Do you have a favorite Disney Resort? Do you like to tour all the resorts during the holidays, admiring all the themed decor?

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City Eats: Dove’s Luncheonette, Chicago

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Jason, Addison, and I just got back from almost 2 weeks in the Midwest. We spent time in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Iowa and had such a wonderful time exploring places we have never been with people that we love. Toward the beginning of our travels, we took a few days to explore Chicago. Chicago was one of the few remaining large US cities that Jason and I had not explored together.

We loved Chicago! The food is delicious, the city is beautiful (especially this time of year!), and in my opinion, Chicago is the perfect mix of old and new, and contains the perfect amount of grit and history, while remaining a place we felt safe to explore. We stayed in Lincoln Park and loved how close everything was to us – tons of local eats and shopping. We took some time to walk and shop along the Magnificent Mile, spent time perusing antique and vintage stores in Wicker Park, took in a sunset along the Riverwalk, took pictures at and of “The Bean,” enjoyed a tour of Wrigley Field, and Jason and I have now stood at both the beginning and the ending of Route 66.

One of our favorite ways to get to know a city has always been by eating. We eat as much local fare as possible and Dove’s Luncheonette was definitely one of our favorite Chicago finds. Dove’s is named after a book written in the late 50s that was later adapted for the big screen. The eatery has 41 stools and “draws inspiration from bygone diners and watering holes to create a place where people from all walks of life can converge over a cup of coffee, cocktail, and a great meal” (Dove’s). While drinking your coffee from a 70s style brown bell cup, you will be treated to the music of the 60s and 70s, specifically Chicago soul and blues. The food itself is a wonderful mix of Southern inspired favorites with a Mexican flare and from what we saw and tasted, you cannot go wrong with anything on the menu. I opted for the buttermilk chicken fried chicken, served with a chorizo verde gravy, peas, and pearl onions and I’d do the same thing again. Do yourself a favor if you find yourself in Chicago, eat at Dove’s, you won’t be disappointed! And, yes, I did bring home another mug to add to the racks – this one is, you guessed it, brown and bell shaped. 😉

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