Wear through summer

Since I started blogging, I've noticed my willingness to spend more money on clothes has increased. Clearly I'm not going out and buying $700 sandals or anything, but I did buy these $70 sandals. At the start of this blog, I don't think I would have. Heck, I thought $70 for two pairs of sandals was a lot.

But blogging has taught me things like cost per wear, and cost vs worth.
So, in the last month and a half, I've worn these sandals 11 times, making the current cost per wear about $6.
These sandals are really comfortable. They are a neutral color. They give me lots of height. All of these factors make their worth increase.
Those things allow me to wear them more often than a cheap, uncomfortable sandal in a color that goes with nothing, but-who-cares-because-they-were-$10-on-the-clearance-rack.
I think that in two summers I can get these down to a dollar per wear.

Not everything can get to a dollar per wear. But I can try. Clearly I'm trying with this starfish cuff. Forty wears by the end of the summer? I think I can do it!
Pink chevron Pink chevron 
If you've been lusting after a Stormy Sea Necklace to call your own, it is your lucky day; Kie & Kate just got more of the necklace in seafoam, white and pink in stock. Just leave them a message on Facebook if you want one!
pink chevron sunnies Pink chevron
The Rundown
Chevron Top Old Navy - Skirt Iisli New York - Sandals MRKT Holly via DSW - Necklace "Stormy Sea" Kie & Kate - Starfish Cuff St. Thomas via TJMaxx - Sunnies Old Navy

Don't lose focus

Lately I've been crushing on bloggers who shoot with their lenses wide open, which just means only a tiny portion of the photo is sharply in focus.
Ideally, I'd love to be completely in focus, with the background a big beautiful bokeh mess.
At some point, I decided that having my aperture set to f/2.8 was the best way to acheive this.
But I've decided to open up my lens all the way to f/1.4 and see if the trade off of detail for pretty blurriness results in a more pleasing photograph.

This first shot was taken at f/1.4, and the second f/2.8 - which do you prefer?

For those of you with SLRs, what focal length/f-stop do you like best for you outfit photos?

Poppy sunset 2.8
chambray knot
Poppy sunset hair toss Poppy sunset clutch
Poppy sunset
The Rundown
Poppy Dress Elle for Kohls - Chambray Tuxedo Shirt J. Crew - Sandals Ciao Bella Petunia - Bracelets Towne and Reese Avery - Woven Clutch London Fog - Sunnies Old Navy

Water Lily

Little pond
This water lily pond was a nice find a few towns over. It's a little out of the way, so I wont be frequenting this spot, but I had to take advantage while I was there.

Shorts! I finally got around to ironing these adorable little things. Ironing is my downfall, I would have worn them weeks ago had they not been a crumpled mess. Full, almost skirt-like shorts are definitely my favorite kind, they help me not feel so insecure about my thunderous thighs and huge bum.
And what is this, a knotted shirt? I'm clearly addicted to the trend.
Water Lily Water Lily - detail
What's this, more starfish cuff? Oh yes, the layering possibilities are endless!
Water Lily across the pond Water Lily - weeping willowLittle pond
Water Lily
The Rundown
Shorts Jaloux via TJMaxx - Top Gap - Sandals MRKT Holly via DSW - Starfish Cuff St. Thomas via TJMaxx - Bracelet Avon - Earrings Taken for Granite - Sequin Clutch Gap - Sunnies Old Navy
Water Lily dog

Seaweed song

Seaweed toes
I took a walk to the beach again, this dress just feels so beachy to me. It's kind of the color of seaweed. But only the way that the color mint is the color of actual mint, which is not at all. That makes sense, okay?
I picked up this really cool belt last month from Coco's, it's by Nina Arjani and even has a year listed on it, 1994. Not really vintage, but still a very unique piece. It pairs perfectly with the dress, and of course, the starfish cuff. I love the cuff so much, and based on your comments you love it too, so you wont mind if I never take it off...
Seaweed Song Seaweed shoes Seaweed Song Seaweed bag Seaweed Song
The Rundown
Dress Market in Italy - Starfish Belt Nina Arjani - Sandals Naturalizer - Bag Abercrombie & Fitch - Starfish Cuff St. Thomas via TJMaxx - Sunnies Kohls
Seaweed river

Blogging under the influence

I've never participated in Modly Chic's Fashion Beauty Friend Friday questions before, but this weeks set, about the strangeness of fashion, and the influence that style blogging has on one's style, really resonated with me.

Especially since this weekend resulted in my spending my entire budget for July, on things that are a direct result of my reading blogs.

Since you began blogging do you notice a change in the types of things you gravitate towards while shopping?

First it was a pair of Red Jeans. I'd been wanting a pair since the fall, and more and more of my blogger friends were getting them, I was getting jealous and desperate, so I tried my last ditch shopping effort - typing into googles shopping search engine. A listing at eCrater came up, and I'd never even heard of eCrater, but evidently it's just a place where anyone can set up an online shop.
There was a pair, in my size, for $22, they just seemed like they would be perfect.
Red jeans on This Free Bird
Next, the Striped H&M Blazer. I first saw this blazer on Denji and wanted it that instant. At that point I was too late to find it at H&M, and to make matters worse, suddenly it seemed every other blogger out there was wearing it. So I got a little obsessed, started looking at every blogger who had it to see if they were going to sell it. Finally I found one, but she's in Europe and the cost of shipping + the conversion of the weak-ass dollar was killing me. I'd told the girls about the blazer at last weeks blogger meet up, and on Friday Megan (Thank You!!!) sent me a message saying that she'd found another blogger (in the states) with the blazer in her blog shop!
I freaked out, and sent an email to secure the blazer as my own that instant.
If not for blogging, that blazer would not be on it's way to me right now.
If not for blogging, I would never have known that blazer existed in the first place.
Striped blazer on Denji
Finally, the Starfish Cuff Bracelet. A few weeks ago Diana posted about this gorgeous starfish cuff she'd gotten from a Spanish store called Bimba and Lola, but she store doesn't ship to the USA. If you don't live in the states, you can go buy the cuff. Even if I could get it, the cuff which is on sale for 22 would end up costing somewhere in the ballpark of $55 after tax and shipping.
For those of us in the USA, the only starfish cuff I could find was one at Anthropologie, for a super Anthro-like price tag of $198.
But I went to TJMaxx this weekend, and what is sitting there under that glass jewelry counter? A starfish cuff. The brand is St. Thomas, the cost was $40 (the best deal yet) and it was exactly what I wanted.
But I can't help but wonder, had I not seen the cuff on Diana, would it have caught my eye? Would I have thought $40 was a good deal?
Starfish Cuff on Diana
My Starfish Cuff
So my answer to question one is a big fat yes. 

Do you find, as a fashion blogger, that you dress differently from your family and friends? Do they comment on that?
Yes. I think the best example that I have is my little sister accusing me of dressing in a deliberately non-conformist way, when in fact I am conforming, just to a different standard - the style blogger standard.
For the most part, my family, friends and coworkers all know about the blog and the outfit photos and no longer toss out the ever annoying "What are you all dressed up for?" comment.

What’s the weirdest fashion that you secretly like, even if you aren’t bold enough to wear it?
Ohhh, I never keep my fashion obsessions a secret.

Looking at current trends – what would you like to try but need to build up the courage to do?
Printed pants. I've seen some gals doing them well, but I'm worried about them making me look really short/wide/juvenile ect. ect.

Toot someone’s horn – which fashion blogger out there inspires you with her bold fashion choices?
Recently I've been digging Late Afternoon's posts, but it might just be a case of camera envy - she's got the same lens that I do, the 50mm 1.4, but the bokeh is just so much prettier. Sure, a full frame camera is only $2,500 - I can swing that, and then I'll pick up this gorgeous ONA Camera bag for $309 while I'm at it...
Late Afternoon

And just so we are clear about how much of an influence blogging has on my fashion choices, Thursday I read about the Marc by Marc Jacobs resort collection, Friday, I wear it.
resort wear

Fiona's Style

It's back. Burn Notice. My favorite show, and if you've been following me for any length of time, you probably already knew that, right Kristin?
I will never blog about what went down on The Bachelorette, but every summer I will gush about how much I adore Burn Notice; how smitten I am with Michael, how badly I want to be (or at least dress) like Fiona, and how much I enjoy the show's fun, clever writing.

I've spent a lot of time dissecting Fiona's wardrobe; she keeps things pretty simple:

Long, somewhat messy hair. I'd say don't wash it for a day or two and sleep with it in a braid for the waviness. Keep the makeup to a minimum.

Bold little cocktail dresses in bright colors, the shorter the better.

Wedges, since they are easier to run and fight in, are essential.

It's important to keep your eyes safe from those harsh Miami rays, go for big, dark sunnies.
Brown Oversized Sunnies at Forever 21 $5.80

Leather Wrap Bracelets are a simple accessory with a tough vibe.
Cognac Leather Wire Wrap Bracelet at Etsy $25

 Fiona needs both hands free to do all the ass-kicking she does, so she has the sexiest fanny pack ever. If you aren't bold enough to pull off a waist bag like the Happy Cow Leather Hip Bag $74, then go for a nice leather fringe cross-body from American Eagle $40

And as for me...
It should be getting hotter It should be getting hotter It should be getting hotter It should be getting hotter
The Rundown
Dress TJMaxx - Sandals MRKT Holly - Bag Avon - Sunnies Steve Madden - Bracelets The Cavernous Jewelry Box

Well, I've got to run the season premier is on now! (Wait, why are you reading blogs, go watch it!!)

Reviewed: HANAair Hair Dryer

Misikko - dryer
I recently had a chance to review a HANAair hair dryer, which is a professional dryer and this was the first time I've ever tried a dryer other than one of the $20 or less models that I normally pickup at the drugstore.

I was impressed. This hair dryer allowed me to do something I didn't even think was possible - I gave myself a blow out that rivaled that of getting it done by a professional. Clearly the tools are just as important as the technique.
It comes with a velveteen bag for travel and a heat proof mat. 

With my drugstore dryer, drying my hair takes ages. My hair is thick, long, and wavy, but the Hana dryer, with settings cranked up to the maximum amount of heat and power, allowed me to get my hair dry in about 20 minutes. After the blow dry was done, my hair was already so straight and smooth, I barely even had to go over it with my flat iron.
Misikko - detail
Two buttons to control the intensity of the heat and the intensity of the air flow - this was so powerful I blew a picture frame off the wall! (okay, maybe my hanging skills are really terrible, but still.)

Another wonderful feature of the Hana dryer is the insanely long cord. Anyone who has to work in a space with limited outlet access knows how annoying a short cord is.

My only complaint is the positioning of the cold burst button. Situated right under where your thumb rests while holding the dryer, I kept accidentally pressing it. The first time it happened I was convinced I'd broken the dryer because only cold air was coming out (I know, I'm prone to overreacting).

Misikko - box
I did really love how Misikko packaged the dryer - it arrived quickly via UPS in a white box that was overflowing with tons of extra little goodies. A white rose, a hairbrush, an eye mask, shampoo, heat shield serum (works wonderfully, by the way), even a stuffed monkey -- everything you need to feel completely pampered.
Misikko - monkey
The next time your $20 drugstore hair dryer breaks, you may want to consider investing in one of the best professional hair dryers that Misikko sells, and I've heard really great things about their Titanium Flat Irons too - your hair will definitely thank you.

I was provided with the hairdryer for purposes of this review, my opinions are my own.

Strawberry Shortcake

Over the weekend was my town's annual festival, the highlight of which, is the the strawberry shortcake. Since it's raining out, and I don't feel like writing about rainy photos again, I decided to post these insead.
Shortcake Shortcake full Shortcake devouring Shortcake empty
No shortcake can compare, year after year... it is simply the best. Having it marks the beginning of the summer -- it represents everything you hope the summer will be; bright, sweet and leaving you wanting more!
Summer Dress Summer Dress Shortcake bag Shortcake sandals Shortcake
The Rundown
White Eyelet Dress Max Studio - Sandals Ciao Bella Petunia - Wicker Bag Lemon Drop Vintage Giveaway - Turquoise Pendant Aldo - Earrings Made by Me - Sunnies Old Navy
Shortcake Girlies