Outfit Post: 6/26/14

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Top and pants: Thrifted — Flats: 6pm.com (Frye) — Earrings and bracelet: Gift, from Greece

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You might correctly guess that I have, uh, some strong feelings about the US Supreme Court ruling that came down today, but I’ll try to keep it lighthearted around these parts.

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So, what’s good in the world? This adorable baby bat is.

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This smartypants math kiddo is, too.

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Not to mention this video of the P-Funk Mothership being reassembled.

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What’s good in your world lately?

THIRD ANNUAL BLOG ANNIVERSARY GIVEAWAY EXTRAVAGANZA WINNERS!

Okay, friends. I know you’re excited, but try to stay calm. It’s time for me, with the help of the invaluable Random Number Generator, to announce the winners of the third annual blah blah blah whatever giveaway! Drumroll, please:

Close enough.

The winner of the $34 USD e-giftcard to Powell’s Books is:

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Brittneigh! Yay for Brittneigh! Hopefully the books that you buy with your prize will be less terrible, at the very least.

The winner of the giftcard for one t-shirt from Litographs is:

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Evelyn! Congratulations, Evelyn! At long, long last you’ll have a Litographs shirt of your very own.

I’ll be in touch with you both so that you can claim your prizes. Thanks for entering and helping me celebrate, everybody! I wish I could give you all prizes like Oprah does, but unfortunately, I cannot. You’ll all have to get your BEES somewhere else.

Outfit Post: 6/23/14

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Dress: eShakti — Sandals: Dansko — Belt and ring: Target — Earrings: Fab.com

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If you haven’t already, you still have about five hours to enter Reading in Skirts’ anniversary giveaway! It closes at midnight PST, dontchaknow.

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Nobody says you have to, of course, but I’d hate for you to miss out on the opportunity if you’d like to.

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I’ve been reading some pretty excellent books lately that I could recommend you spend your Powell’s giftcard on if you win–An Untamed State by Roxane Gay, perhaps? Or for something a little lighter, maybe Sorcery and Cecilia, by by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer?

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Or even Salsa Nocturna, by Daniel Jose Older! Really, though, you can get whatever you want. It’ll be your giftcard! (I may never forgive you if you get a pickup artist’s how-to guide, though. I have my limits.)

Outfit Post: 6/20/14

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Dress: Ross — Shirt and bangle: Thrifted — Sandals: Target — Necklace: DIY — Earrings: Etsy

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I do love to toe the work-appropriate line, don’t I?

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We’re on summer hours at work now, though, which means we get to leave at 1pm on Fridays, which further means that I’m pretty sure nobody gives a rip about my clothing so long as it’s clean.

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Sometimes I make unconscious assumptions about what’s work-appropriate and what’s not, and when I stop to interrogate those assumptions I’m not really sure why I have them. For instance: knotting. To me, knotting = casual = no bueno, but nary a peep was said against my rather stylishly knotted shirt!

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Then again, I do work in a relatively permissive environment–no denim, but when I’ve gone into a creative gray area before with regards to my clothing, I’ve never been chastised. This may partially be because while I sometimes skew a little wacky or a little casual, I don’t go in with anything revealing or really untidy.

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And I admittedly have the privilege of having a relatively flat chest, which means that it’s physically impossible for me to be reprimanded for showing cleavage. That’s one of the systemic office dress-code things that irks me the most–that folks may be more likely to experience stricter dress codes based on their body type.

Of course, lots of folks have written at length (and more coherently than me) on this very topic, like Nadine over at Already Pretty. What are you still doing here? Go read her post!

Outfit Post: 6/19/14

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Shirt: Target — Skirt: Leah’s free pile — Flat liners: Sock Dreams — Flats: 6pm.com (Frye) — Necklace: Gift — Earrings: Apostrophie

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I was channeling Tia last Thursday with some green and purple, apparently!

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Send her some good thoughts, by the way–there was a bike accident and one of her hands is at least partially out of commission for a while, which sucks.

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We love you, Tia! You’re an incredible person no matter how many hands you have.

Outfit Post: 6/18/14

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Dress: Thrifted (J.Crew) — Sandals: 6pm.com (Sam & Libby) — Bracelet: World Market — Earrings: Etsy

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Two Saturdays ago, I went with one of my friends to get a professional pedicure for the very first time ever!

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Historically I’ve been on the fence about patronizing nail salons, ethically-speaking, due to the health hazards and racism that many salon employees face. I know that I could probably be doing more good by taking action rather than just not going to them, but recently I’ve been having enough trouble doing good for myself–not to mention the fact that many ethical movements with a racially-based component don’t necessarily want or need a white knight coming in and trying to save everybody. But I digress.

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All that said, I went into it with an open mind and enjoyed myself! I might feel a little awkward sitting there in silence if I went alone, but my friend and I had a nice conversation and it was really pretty pleasant. (Except for one moment when my foot spasmed from being ticklish–sorry, nail technician.)

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I probably won’t make a habit of getting my toenails done, but it was a fine experience and I like the polish color I chose.

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I even painted my fingernails a nice dusty purple to go with them, too! Now I just need to plan my outfits around those colors until the polish chips off…

Third Annual Blog Anniversary Giveaway Extravaganza!

Oh my god, you guys. Three years? Nahhhh. I mean, time is a meaningless social construct anyway, so it definitely hasn’t been three years since Tia and I started this blog. Let’s just have a get-together commemorating the Battle of Seven Oaks, instead.

No? Oh, fine. We’ll do another giveaway, then, I guess. I mean, if I have to.

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image via powells.com

Part one of the giveaway: a $34 USD e-giftcard to Powell’s Books! I’ve only been to the giant Powell’s flagship store in Portland once, but it was GREAT. There were LOTS OF BOOKS, as one might expect.

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image via litographs.com

Part two of the giveaway: a giftcard for one t-shirt from Litographs! (If you win and the site’s available sizes do not suit you, let me know and we’ll work something else out.) I don’t personally own any of their wares–yet–but rest assured, I am quite interested in several of their designs, like The Last Unicorn, for example. Yeah? Yeahhhh. It’s a very book-themed giveaway this time around, mostly because this is (half) my blog and I do what I want.

Your instructions, should you choose to enter the giveaway: leave a comment with a VALID EMAIL ADDRESS on this post and tell us about a) the worst book you ever read or b) your favorite book cover that would make a kickass t-shirt design. You can also do both, if you’d like to enter for both giveaways. (You can only win one, though. No fair sweeping both.) Entries will be accepted until 11:59PM PST a week from today–that’s Thursday, June 26th. The giveaway is open to everyone, domestic and international! The winners will be chosen at random and I’ll announce them the Friday after the giveaway closes; if you win, you will have 72 hours to respond to the email before a new winner is randomly selected, so be sure to check your spam folders just in case!

Okay, friends. Help me celebrate this wonderful day of Kuwaiti independence blog anniversary. Go forth and cloister yourself in a quiet space with a book and ignore all your worldly responsibilities! It’s what I would do.

How To: Lavender-Honey Custard

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One thing you should probably know about me is that I love custard. With a passion. I mean, I love most things egg-related, but custard in particular holds a special place in my heart.

Knowing that, it shouldn’t be too terribly surprising that when I was idly trawling my brain for cool breakfast foods I could enjoy during the summer, I hit upon the idea of breakfast custards. If you lay off the super-rich recipes with lots of cream and stuff–which I love, but which are maybe a little too much first thing in the morning–you’ve got something light, sweet, and with some protein, which is a pretty good combination for me on the days that I ride my bike to work. I need to eat something so that I don’t barf, but I don’t want to get stomach cramps while biking, either.

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As I was thinking, I remembered this recipe, originated by Dorie Greenspan. It’s got a fairly eggy flavor to it, which I don’t mind at all, and it seemed worth tinkering with. I’ve made the lemon flavor before, and it’s very nice, but my first-ever trip to Bi-Rite Creamery over the weekend had me interested in trying a flavor combination they do wonderfully: lavender-honey. I already had an ounce bag of lavender buds bought from a local health food store (which has a spice vault in back, no kidding–it used to be a bank!) that I regularly use in homemade granola, so I tented my fingers, laughed an evil laugh, and made custard.

There were several variables that could have gone really wonky–subbing in some honey for sugar, which increased the liquid content of the mix; baking the custards in a little convection toaster oven, which required me to adjust the cooking time and temperature; and my own predilection for food experiments going awry. But these were pretty good! The lavender flavor was prominent and went well with the delicate milk and egg, and the honey definitely added something that only granulated sugar wouldn’t have. A very nice breakfast indeed, and not a bad dessert, either.

Lavender-Honey Custard (adapted from Baking: From my Home to Yours, by Dorie Greenspan)

Serves 6 (or one, if you’re the only person in the house who likes custard)

2 1/4 cup whole milk
1 tsp dried lavender buds
4 eggs
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup honey (I used local wildflower honey)

Prepare 6 ramekins or custard cups.

Heat the milk and lavender buds in a small pot; bring to a boil, then remove from the heat, cover, and allow to steep for at least half an hour. Make sure to reheat the milk before starting the next steps.

Preheat your oven to 325F (or 275F for convection). Line a roasting pan with two layers of paper towels, and place the ramekins in the pan. Heat some water in a pot or kettle until it boils, and then turn off the heat.

In a heatproof bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and honey. Strain the lavender-infused milk into a separate bowl to get rid of the lavender buds. Continue to whisk the egg-sugar-honey mixture and mix in a little hot milk at a time so that the eggs don’t curdle. Continue slowly until all the milk is whisked in.

Skim the foam from the custard mixture (I didn’t do this because I’m lazy), and then divide it into the ramekins. Place the roasting pan on the oven rack and pour enough hot water from the pot or teakettle to come halfway up the outsides of the ramekins.

Bake 40-50 minutes (or longer–mine were in the toaster oven probably a good 20-30 minutes more because I was paranoid about undercooking them), or “until they jiggle only in the center when you tap the cups lightly.” (I am not very good at telling when this is; but the tops will be a nice caramel-brown, and if you poke down the side of a clear ramekin with a toothpick, the tunnel will hold its shape somewhat instead of re-liquifying.) Carefully remove the ramekins from the roasting pan–everything’s really hot!–and place them on a wire rack to cool to room temperature. Cover tightly and store in the fridge 2-3 days. Or eat them all immediately, I don’t care. I’m not your mother. Do whatever the heck you want.

Outfit Post: 6/16/14

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Dress and vest: Thrifted — Flats: American Rag — Headband: The Faerie Market — Earrings: Apostrophie — Ring: Monterey Bay Aquarium

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Even though it’s been getting hotter and hotter here in central CA–and it’s not even properly summer yet!–this dress was a slightly bad choice to wear to work yesterday.

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Why? NO SLEEVES. Many of you who work in an office environment are probably familiar with the absurd hot-weather-to-cold-air-conditioning ratio that I experience on a daily basis. Sure, it’s refreshing for the first couple minutes, but by lunchtime I basically need a pashmina.

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The icy blast keeps my fern headband from wilting, though, I guess.

Outfit Post: 6/15/14

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Top and bangle: Thrifted — Shorts: Nordstrom Rack — Sandals: Target — Necklace: Jewelry shop in Hallstatt — Earrings: Etsy

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I had to take these pictures super-quick after going to dinner with friends yesterday, which is perhaps why I look so ghostly-pale that I might float away and haunt your Ouija Board.

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It was a good dinner–I had a sandwich that was 90% avocado, and then we came back to the house and watched some really weird music videos like the grownups we are.

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To wit:

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What’s your favorite weird music video? (That one isn’t my favorite, for the record; one of the current top contenders is probably/definitely this.)