Month: December 2015

Tales From the Thrift: Anthro Madness

As the title suggests, I found a lot of Anthropologie pieces lately in my thrifting expeditions … which, sadly, haven’t been as frequent. Blame work, and travel, and the never-ending book edits :/ But, never fear: not-so-frequent (for me) thrifting trips still yield plenty of winners, and almost-winners. Let’s take a look!

Tudor fire sale
Tudor fire sale

Someone was a fan of the Tudors. I wonder what happened?

Moulinette Soeurs dress ($16?)
Moulinette Soeurs dress ($16?)

I love Anthro pieces pretty indiscriminately, but this dress seemed very 90s to me – and not in a way I felt compelled to revisit.

Maeve skirt ($10)
Maeve skirt ($10)

Cute, but something about the shiny, polka dotted fabric just didn’t work for me.

LOFT skirt, $10
LOFT skirt, $10

Cute, but not my size. I hate when that happens. I need to shop with a posse, so I can make sure these pieces go to a good home.

RACHEL Rachel Roy dress ($18)
RACHEL Rachel Roy dress ($18)

Can you believe I passed on a Rachel Roy dress? I love RR dresses! But I felt like this one might be too much of a shapeless sack, and I worried about the polyester being staticky. In retrospect, I regret not getting it. Figures!

no name :(
no name 🙁

Someone, somewhere, would make this look amazeballs. Maybe?

Tabitha blazer ($7)
Tabitha blazer ($7)

Too big, and a bit too twee for me.

Tabitha dress ($13)
Tabitha dress ($13)

This, on the other hand, came home with me – perfect for the holidays, I figured. There was a small rip along the zipper, that looked like (and was) an easy fix, so I asked for a discount and took it home happily. Christmas Eve outfit, sorted! If only I could say the same for my Xmas gift shopping …

Prada shoes ($31)
Prada shoes ($31)

At the price, and considering the condition, I couldn’t pass these up. They were, sadly, about a size too big for me. I tried wearing them once, but couldn’t make them work. I threw them up on ye old blog sale page, but no one wanted them, so I gifted them to a friend.

Maeve skirt ($10)
Maeve skirt ($10)

I love this skirt so much, even if it’s a bit too twee for my age. It gets a lot of compliments, so it was a good use of $10.

J. Crew dress ($11)
J. Crew dress ($11)

I also can’t resist anything J. Crew, so I had to buy this Fabiola dress even though it was 2-3 sizes too big. I thought about selling or gifting it, but ended up keeping it because I love it a lot. Belted, it looks quite nice.

Ok, your turn: what were your thrift scores this month? And if you’ve got any thrifting questions for me, hit me up in the comments.

Looking Forward

Hey guys, sorry for the radio silence. It was not intentional … mostly. The last 6 months have been really intense, and the accumulated stress has left me feeling burnt out. After finally wrapping up my book, I decided to give myself permission to slack for a while. Well, outside of work, anyway. To be honest, it’s been challenging. I am so used to a go-go-go pace (which, as exhausting as it is, seems to suit my personality) that slowing down is proving hard to do in any kind of measured way. [I’m sure there’s an analogy to a duck or a swan or whatever water fowl paddling madly, without seeming to break a sweat. Or something.] Anyway, the long and short of it is: I just dropped everything. Talk about all or nothing.

Even as I’ve enjoyed my newly rediscovered “down time” (re-reading P.D. James’ Adam Dalgliesh novels, messing around with adult coloring books, and going to bed at a more reasonable hour), I’ve been feeling guilty about not accomplishing more. I have such a long list of projects I would like to do (Learning to use a sewing machine! Beading! Drawing! Writing interesting blog collaborations! Writing a follow-up book!) that I perpetually feel like I’m falling behind and wasting my life. Of course, that’s silly, and the rational part of my brain realizes it … but it’s still a difficult notion to shake. Every now and then, I’ll remember that I’m 35 and that the days of “plenty more time for that later” are, well, not as numerous as a decade ago. And the emotional tailspin begins anew.

I’ve been using some of my free time to think about the new year, which is approaching with alarming speed. In February, the Year of the (Fire) Monkey begins. I was born in August 1980, which makes me a Metal Monkey. My husband was also born in 1980. All of this is all around no bueno for me, come 2016. I’m not superstitious … except that I totally am, sometimes. As far as I can tell, the advice for someone in my position is to keep one’s head down and not make any waves. Needless to say, that’s like telling a Monkey not to breathe – we’re just not built that way – but I’m going to try.

My theme for 2015 was “soar”, and it proved to be an inspired choice. Looking back, I think I was able to do just that: soar above my fears, in both my personal and professional lives. Heading into 2016, I really wanted to have “reap” as my new theme, because the egomaniac inside is all about measurable success … and what else could follow a year of soaring except success? But as the clock keeps ticking down on this twelfth month, “reap” doesn’t feel right. It feels presumptuous, even now, which scares me a little – that uncertainty is either the voice of my fears, or the voice of reason, and neither answer is reassuring – but I’m trying not to dwell on it. Instead, I’ve been feeling my way towards a different new theme, and coming back to the same one. Or, rather, two. Two words: accept and change.

Accept change.

Probably the two hardest words in the dictionary for me, which is a sign that they are the right choice – right?

Let’s tackle “accept” first. To me, it implies acquiescence and passivity – the polar opposite of my personality. It’s a negative thing, because good things don’t just happen in my world – you work for them. You accept bad luck, misfortune, unpleasant but unavoidable events. As for “change”, that’s also bad. I hate change, even though I get bored easily and, in one way or another, I am always looking for the excitement of change. I know, it doesn’t make any sense to me either.

My perspective on both of these words is just that: a personal perspective. Neither word carries solely negative connotations – in fact, both can easily be positive. And it’s the positive that I’m aiming to discover in 2016. I want to embrace (not merely acquiesce) in growth (not merely change). I want to shift the way I think about myself and my space in the world. I want to be an optimist. I want to believe that, when you open your arms, what comes is good and true, and not something to be feared. I want to stop being afraid of change; I want to stop trying to control its parameters.

It will be hard.

But there’s no reason why I can’t make it. I’m fully aware of my privilege in having this as one of my biggest challenges. It’s easy peasy in the scheme of things. Practically nothing. And I will try to remember that, even when I give myself permission to wallow in (inevitable, let’s face it) self-pity.

OK, your turn: have you picked your “theme” for 2016? What is it? And if there any other Monkeys out there – let’s commiserate!

Sleep Shopping

Top, Simons; skirt, J. Crew Factory; necklace, BR; shoes, Jimmy Choo; bag, Ferragamo
Top, Simons; skirt, J. Crew Factory; necklace, BR; shoes, Jimmy Choo; bag, Ferragamo

I could have SWORN this skirt was a size 6, J. Crew No. 2 pencil skirt when I bought it, new with tags, at consignment. Well, it turns out that it’s a size 4, J. Crew Factory skirt. What the hell, Adina?

The quality difference is not super noticeable (at least, not yet), but the size is. I mentioned before that I’m in between sizes at J. Crew at the moment, and this confirms the benefit of sizing up. The waist of this skirt fits well (better than the 6, sitting at my natural waist) but the hips are another story. I hate the wrinkling happening here, although it probably looks worse in the photos than it did in real life.

Skirt issues aside, I really quite liked the outfit, and it was nice to pair this Simons top with something other than navy, red or white. I always forget that camel is a neutral too. That shouldn’t be the case, given that I wear my camel coat almost every day, with every single thing imaginable. Camel for the win!

oldie but goodie ... my BR tassel necklace
oldie but goodie … my BR tassel necklace
red bag goes with everything?
red bag goes with everything?