Sunday, July 30, 2017

The Perfect Third Summer Layer

A Kimono: A Perfect Third Layer

When I get dressed, I usually try to add a third layer because it takes an outfit to the next level. In summer, adding a third layer can be challenging, but a lightweight kimono works perfectly. In fact, I find it keeps me cooler than not wearing it as it protects me from the sun.

I bought the blue and white kimono last year in Germany and was going to get a few more kimonos but haven't done so yet.

 This post contains affiliate links, and benefits from actions taken on the links.

 Outfit Details: Kimono (similar), White Tank, White Capris (similar), Cork Heels

Murrieta's Well Wine Club Pickup Party

I wore the kimono on a hot day to our wine club pickup party at Murrieta's Well in Livermore.

Wine Club pickup parties at Murrieta's Well are always enjoyable with delicious wine to sip, tasty food to eat and great music to listen to. 

I loved relaxing in the shade for a few hours; the kid brought a book to read and also enjoyed the outing.

Questions: Do you own a kimono? If so, do you like wearing it as a third layer in summer? When have you last been out on a relaxing outing? 

Be well,

Thursday, July 27, 2017

New Hair, New Attitude

This post is a sponsored post. As always, all opinions are my own. 

For many, many years I had the same haircut.

Finally, a few haircuts ago, I told my hairdresser that I would like to try something new. Her response was: "I've been waiting for this!" After some discussions, we decided to cut shorter layers and grow out my bangs. The cut is softer and less structured. The new haircut can also be changed by the way I style it, something that wasn't really possible with the old cut. Cutting my hair made me aware of how a haircut can change one's attitude. My new hair feels more fun, easy going and free, and that affects how I feel.

Since I'm now in a playful mood when it comes to my hair, I was intrigued when Divatress contacted me about their hair pieces. I've never really thought about playing with hair pieces in the past; with my structured haircut, it just never occurred to me. But now that my hair has layers, I am thinking of experimenting a bit more. For instance, I think it would be fun to change my look for a special occasion or just because.

So when Divatress contacted me and invited me to explore their website, I decided to check out some of their human hair lace front wigs. And they have many great, affordable options that allow you to totally change your look or try out a new hairstyle for a night out or a few days. I love the idea of having long hair for a night. And how great is it to be able to "test drive" a short hair style before committing to cutting your hair?

Questions: When was the last time you changed your hairstyle? Have you ever tried a hair piece? If so, what was your experience? 

Be well,

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Blue and White Striped Tee and Cork Heel Sandals

I always like to wear stripes, but a blue and white striped tee is especially essential for me in summer.

When we went on vacation to Avila Beach a few weeks ago, I took white capris and a white and blue striped tee.

This post contains affiliate links, and benefits from actions taken on the links. 

I also wore my new cork heel sandals from Target. I don't usually wear heels, but one of my Instagram friends recommended the sandals, and when I saw them in the store when I picked up a few things before our trip, I decided to give them a try. I have a weak ankle, and I like that the sandals feel sturdy due to the cork block heel and the thick straps. I only wore them for a few hours, but while I wore them I felt secure, and they were comfortable. They certainly don't have a high heel, but for me wearing any heel is very unusual, and it's nice to have a low heel to wear once in a while.

When I posted a photo of the sandals on Instagram, I was contacted by Target and asked if I would give them permission to use my photo. It was fun to see it on the Target website.

When we visit the San Luis Obispo area, we always pass by the Madonna Inn. The big pink building can't be missed. We also have several friends who have said that everyone has to visit the Madonna Inn at least once. So on our way home, we decided to stop by. We went for a late breakfast/brunch and were not disappointed. I ordered the corned beef hash with poached eggs after reading about it on Yelp, and it was very good and a standout for me. The atmosphere is a bit over-the-top and very unique. It's definitely an experience!

Unfortunately, at that point of our vacation, we weren't in the mood for taking a lot of photos anymore, so there aren't many...

Questions: What are some of your go-to summer combos? White pants and a striped tee is certainly one of my favorite summer combos.

Be well,

Friday, July 21, 2017

Summer Bucket List 2017 Update

A month ago, I posted my summer bucket list along with a group of other bloggers, all organized by Leslie from Once Upon a Time Happily Every After. Today, some of us are posting an update. See below for the linked-up posts.

I think I’m doing pretty well with my summer bucket list, but I’m struggling a bit with some of the weekly items. Namely, I’m not swimming as much as I wanted to, haven’t been to the Farmers’ Market in weeks, and am seriously lacking in taking barre and/or yoga classes.

Here is my summer bucket list; I have written updates next to each item. 

2017 Summer Bucket List

1. Make at least five day trips to the beach. - We are a bit slow on this one, but we spent a week at the beach, so I think that sort of counts.
2. Read three fun books.- Done. 
3. Go to the farmers' market at least once a week. - I don’t know why this is so hard for me right now, but I’ve not been going the last few weeks. One of the reasons was our trip to the beach, but it surely doesn't explain it all. I have been harvesting plenty of my own tomatoes, cucumbers and fresh herbs however.
4. Go on one hike per week. - We have been going on at least one hike a week, usually two or three.
5. Take two barre and/or yoga classes per week. - Another fail. I’ll really have to step up my yoga & barre game.
6. Sleep in at least once per week. - Hasn’t happened once! Not even on vacation… There is still so much to catch up on and my mind is still kind of racing I think... I feel like I’ll finally be able to start to unwind right when the fall quarter starts, which will be too late...
7. Barbecue at least once per week. - Yup. More than that.
8. Spend time in the patio every day. - Not quite every day, but much more than in the past.
9. Swim at least four times per week. - No. Not quite. Have to step it up.
10. Make good use of our Great America and Monterey Bay Aquarium season passes. - We went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium once, and, I believe, four times to Great America. I think that's a success.

Question: What's on your summer bucket list? Is there anything you want to do before the summer is over? 

Be well,


Sunday, July 16, 2017

Lace Tunic in San Luis Obispo

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the fun gingham balloon sleeve blouse that I was sent from StyleWe* to review. The other item I chose to review is a lace tunic.* As always, all opinions in this review are my own.

When I saw the lace tunic online, I was immediately drawn to it. And I was very pleased once I received it because of the unique design and very good quality. I decided to wear the tunic with white skinny jeans, my silver lace-up flats, and a big pearl necklace. If you are not as tall as I am (I'm almost 5'11''), I think the tunic would also look great on its own with some heels for an evening out.

I wore the outfit when we visited Wolff Vineyards in San Luis Obispo. It's a beautiful spot to take photos, and, honestly, when we searched for a new winery to visit in the area, we chose one where the reviews mentioned the beautiful surroundings. Fortunately, the wine was really good, too.

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you know that I love tunics. In fact, tunics and leggings are one of my signature looks.

There are lots of tunics on the market, but many are very similar. In fact, I own quite a few tunics that look very much alike. What I love about StyleWe is that their designs are truly distinct. In fact, I could easily choose a whole new, unique wardrobe from the site...

Wolff Vineyards was a great spot to enjoy some good wine and spend a leisurely afternoon, and we'll certainly be returning on future visits to the Central Coast. Next time, we'll probably bring a picnic lunch to enjoy on the outdoor patio.

One more look at the gorgeous lace details of the tunic, taken at our hotel. Four different people told me that day how much they liked the tunic and how unique it is.

After our visit to the winery, we headed to downtown San Luis Obispo where Andy got some tasters of sour beers - which he loves - at Libertine Brewing Company. He REALLY enjoyed the sour beers. We also got some lunch at Libertine and were not disappointed by their food offerings.

We shared the fried goat cheese balls. The soft goat cheese is a nice contrast to the crunchy crust and goes very well with the orange marmalade and honey it is served with.

We also ordered the salmon board. The salmon was honestly one of the best smoked salmon I've ever eaten. It is served with a delicious herbed cream cheese.

Finally, we shared the Caprese salad - always a nice summer treat.

Questions: Have you checked out StyleWe yet? Unfortunately, the lace tunic appears to be sold out, but they are always adding new and unique items What's your signature look? Do you like tunics? Do you like lace? 

Be well,
*Disclosure: I was provided the tunic free of charge; as always, all opinions are my own.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Palm Leaf Dress in Avila Beach

We were lucky enough to escape to Avila Beach on the California Central Coast for a few days. It's less than a three-hour drive from San Jose, but when I'm there I'm always instantaneously in vacation mode. Seeing the ocean is just so relaxing.

This post contains affiliate links, and benefits from actions taken on the links.

A few weeks ago, I saw this Palm Leaf Dress on the Old Navy website and knew that it would be perfect for our trip. I don't usually buy "vacation clothes," and I'll certainly wear the dress a lot at home, but palm leaves just scream vacation and relaxation to me... Maybe I should wear the dress at home when I'm particularly stressed, and it'll calm me down??? It's worth a try I think...

I ordered the dress in tall, and I'm glad I did as it's a great length for vacation and leisure time; the regular would have definitely been a bit too short... The dress is on sale right now for about $15. It also comes in black, grey, black/white stripes, and red/white stripes. I actually also own the black/white striped one and just ordered the black one. I'm really impressed by the weight of the tee material as it's thick enough not to show every lump and bump - perfect for a dress. 

When it got a bit cooler, I paired the dress with a blue/white polka dot cardigan. I love the little bit of pattern mixing.

We had lunch at Ocean Grill, which is always a treat. The food is excellent and the views of the ocean can't be beat. I got the Thai Shrimp Lettuce Cups, which are light and fresh tasting. The shrimp have great seasoning, and the onions and carrots are lightly pickled. Such a flavorful dish!

We also stopped by our favorite winery in town - Alapay Cellars. The wines never disappoint, and it's fun to do a bit of wine tasting. 

But in the end, there is nothing better than relaxing with a beautiful ocean view. And we did plenty of just that...

Questions: Is there a certain print/clothing item that says vacation and relaxation to you?

Be well,

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Sentence a Day: June 2017

June was another busy month as my quarter wasn't over until the 30th. But I made a real effort to focus on the positive despite still being quite sick and overwhelmed at times. There was certainly something good in every day, and we did quite a few fun things, which I'm very thankful for.

I first joined Sarah and Leslie in writing one sentence a day in January, and this is my sixth sentence-a-day post. You can read my January sentences here, my February sentences here, my March sentences here, my April sentences here, and my May sentences here.

June 1, 2017
We are still all under the weather and can't wait to get over this cold!

June 2, 2017
Our front door got painted blue today; I love the blue color, which is lucky as we don't have a say in it as it's predetermined by our homeowners association...

June 3, 2017
Andy got media tickets to the Red, White & Brews event at California's Great America, and we had a good time, despite still not feeling 100%.

June 4, 2017
The older kid came over today, so we barbecued and had a relaxing time on the patio.

June 5, 2017
I found out last minute that the kid won the essay writing contest and was lucky to sneak out and attend the awards ceremony at his school.

June 6, 2017
The kid and I are worse again; will this sickness ever end???

June 7, 2017
I'm still feeling horrible, but I am proud that I got quite a bit of grading done.

June 8, 2017
It rained today, which is always a bit surprising in June as it seems the dry season has already started.

June 9, 2017
We met up with good friends for dinner before several of them go off into the world for the summer.

June 10,  2017
I attended a baby shower; it's always fun to celebrate such an exciting time in someone's life.

June 11, 2017
Today was the kid's year-end party at the beach where it was quite cold, and there were several strong sand storms, but the view was absolutely gorgeous!

June 12, 2017
I'm still coughing quite a bit, but the cough is not "deep" and painful anymore; I'm very thankful.

June 13, 2017
I went to the gym today for the first time in almost three weeks; I didn't feel great, but I'm very thankful that I could complete a light workout.

June 14, 2017
A busy day but I went to the gym for another short workout.

June 15, 2017
The kid had a friend over, and we went to our community pool for the first time this year.

June 16, 2017
Today was the last day of school; since the kid will be switching to a different school in the fall, it was quite emotional.

June 17, 2017
We went to Berkeley and had fun checking out the campus; we also stopped by Pacific Standard Taproom, and Andy got some beer, and we enjoyed their simple yet delicious food.

June 18, 2017
We had a BBQ to celebrate Father's Day.

June 19, 2017
The kid and I went to the pool for a few hours after I taught my morning class.

June 20, 2017
I took the kid and one of his friends to the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

June 21, 2017
After teaching my morning class, the kid and I went to the pool again.

June 22, 2017
I taught my morning class and then had an appointment in the early afternoon; the kid had a play date at a friend's house.

June 23, 2017
We went to Great America, and the kid had a great time on the water rides.

June 24, 2017
We started the day with an early morning walk and then spent a couple hours in the pool - summer bliss.

June 25, 2017
We walked to the far-away park in the morning and went swimming in the evening.

June 26, 2017
The kid and I went on a hike today.

June 27, 2017
I gave a final exam early in the morning, and then the kid and I escaped to Great America for a few hours in the afternoon.

June 28, 2017
I gave my last final today!

June 29, 2017
The kid and I got a haircut in the morning, and we met our friends at their community pool in the afternoon; we brought a small cake in celebration of baby Tim, who is due in a few weeks.

June 30, 2017
We waited for a handyman for several hours, but, unfortunately, he never showed up...

Question: What were your highlights in June? Are you going to join us this month and write one sentence a day? There is still time to catch up and write one sentence a day for each day in July.  It’s lots of fun to look back at the month; I promise.

Be well,

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Blue White Gingham Balloon Sleeve Blouse

Several weeks ago, I was contacted by StyleWe and asked if I wanted to pick out a few items to review. I worked with StyleWe last year and reviewed a silk tunic. The tunic is one of my favorite items as it is not only stylish but also very nice quality. I therefore looked forward to working with StyleWe again.

The first item I picked is a blue and white Gingham balloon sleeve blouse* that is tied. It's a fun item and a bit different than my usual tops. It's also an item that can be changed a bit, depending on how it is tied, and I look forward to playing with it a bit more.

When I wore the blouse*, I decided to pair it with white capris and add brown accessories. I like the fun, summery look that is a bit different yet still classic.
StyleWe Blue White Gingham Balloon Sleeve Blouse 1
StyleWe Blue White Gingham Balloon Sleeve Blouse 2
StyleWe Blue White Gingham Balloon Sleeve Blouse 3
StyleWe Blue White Gingham Balloon Sleeve Blouse 4
I wore the outfit when we went out to lunch at Lazy Dog in Cupertino. We shared the ribs and an ahi tuna salad. Both dishes were quite good, but I preferred the lighter salad.
Lazy Dog Cupertino 1
Lazy Dog Cupertino 2
Lazy Dog Cupertino 3
And after our filling lunch, we hung out on the giant round chairs at Main Street Cupertino for a bit. Unfortunately, it got a bit too hot after about 15 minutes; otherwise, I could have hung out there all afternoon...
StyleWe Blue White Gingham Balloon Sleeve Blouse 5
Questions: Do you like gingham? Do you like tied tops for summer? Have you ever tried an item from StyleWe

Click here to check out the fabulous bloggers I’m linking up with

Be well,

*Disclosure: I was provided the blouse free of charge; as always, all opinions are my own.