Saturday, July 4, 2015

Laid back

I don't even remember when these outfit pictures were taken.  It was still cool enough for socks.  The littlest girl was still wearing a cardi.  It's a good chance it was probably April?  But it's even possible it was the end of March, though my Fiji tan had faded.

In any case, those details aren't important, or even relevant.  I'm rambling.  And what I need to tell you is that I have a backlog of outfit pictures to post.  Only, it's summer vacation.  And the pictures were taken in the spring.  And it's now summer.  July to be exact.

So what do I do?  The season has changed, the summer weather is inspiring me to dress differently and these photos are dated. Is there a rule about posting dated outfit pictures on my blog?  Does this even matter?

I suppose it doesn't, but whatever.  I'm using this summer to catch up.  For one, I don't have much else going on since I'm not working and my Louella Odie collaboration is much smaller scale this year.  And secondly, I'm not really taking too many outfit pictures while I'm on holiday.  And seeing that I have these pictures, there is no pressure to do so either.

Now, back to my thrifting adventures in charity shops, estate sales and vintage boutiques.  We're currently in NYC (up in Amagansett for the holiday weekend) and I'll be hitting up some of my favorites (including MAHPS Vintage in Brooklyn where I bought this dress).  

Also high on the list are 10 Ft Single by Stella Dallas (where I found my scarf) and the Brooklyn Flea.  Can't wait. 

And, don't worry.  I will post some new things here and there, but I'm kind of liking taking a laid back approach this summer.

Outfit details: Vintage dress - MAHPS Vintage, Louella Odie Skyline bag, Shoemint booties, vintage scarf from 10 Ft Single

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Favorite things

As many of you regular readers know (hi Dad!), I'm an Etsy addict.  See my description to the left? Remember my Etsy Confessions series?  Yeah.  I've got it bad.

Well, if I'm an addict, then Vic and Lily is my vintage dealer.  Most of what I covet (and also own) comes from her shop.  I can't help it.  I have no impulse control with her selections.

An I'm a Norbyah handpicked for Vic and Lily novelty print skirt.  

She and I have even collaborated to create a vintage rescue of sorts.  She sells some handpicked items which used to belong to me.  I mean, I needed to make space in my wardrobe for more of her stuff!  I mean, come on.  Would you look at this gingham dress?  It's kind of a Jackie O meets Gilligan's Island number, don't you think?

And this turban?  Actually, I don't know why I'm sharing this picture here.  I actually want that turban. Sigh.

Anyway, why am I rambling on about what sometimes keeps me up at night?  Oh, it's so exciting!  Just for you, oh devoted readers and followers, Vicki has created a special Etsy discount code so you can get stocked up on some vintage goodness.

By entering VICXNOR20 at checkout, you will receive 20% off your order. 

This exclusive offer is good until July 10th, so hop over to her shop now to browse these items and more.  Quickly, beat me to it because I'm serious.  Several of these items are going in my cart.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

LO Summer Voyage: Rained in

Well, so far on this holiday we've escaped what was a rainy spring in Hong Kong to be met with a rainy summer in Illinois and Wisconsin.  We managed two afternoons at the hubby's cousin's pool between rainstorms (complete with flash flood and tornado warnings).

Oglesby is near the Illinois Valley with many nearby towns located relatively low (in a valley) and as a result there has been persistent flooding complete with road closures.  In fact, the first day we went to the pool, we took the back river road to Spring Valley.  When I drove that same way the next afternoon it was all closed off.

Part of one tiny town called Utica was evacuated while another small town Marseilles (not said like they do in France, here it's pronounced Mar-sell-es) was on alert.  Kind of crazy for the start of summer.  The rain has brought through some cool weather, too.  


I love to be able to open the windows to sleep, but I will admit that there have been some chilly mornings for us thin blooded Hong Kongers!  Thankfully, the waters appear to be receding and everyone is safe. The waters threated, though.  You could really see it right at the edge of the roads.

Naturally, on one of the first sunny days, I decided I could at least take the Louella Odie beach wraps/sarongs and scarves out to be aired on the clothesline in the backyard.  Air drying is one of my favorite things about summer.  The smell of clean fresh air in your clothes brings back so many memories.

We're up in Madison now, still wet and also cold, but I'm hopeful that I'll get to the pool this week.  In July we'll head out east and I'll get to lay on the beach up in Amagansett.  Soon my wraps and scarves will have their day in the sun.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Kicking off Summer with Louella Odie

We are well and truly into our summer holiday now (and nearly over our jet lag), so it's about time I let you all in on my fun summer collaboration with Louella Odie.  You may remember last summer, I took some of their bags on a Louella Odie Travelogue adventure through small towns in the midwest and into the big city in NYC.  All along the way, I blogged about our summer travels and posted pictures of the bags I brought with me.

This summer, I'm bringing different bags with me on my summer travels, but I've go some other accessories with me as well.  The scope of my collaboration is a little more focused on some of their accessories and a common thread in all the places I visit.

Louella Odie has a brand new print, the Lattice print, which they've launched in a beach wrap and scarf.  By fall, they'll have some bags in this print as well.  Until then, I get to bring along a multipurpose scarf to all the places where I'll be enjoying some summer sun by the water.

First, I'll be poolside in the Midwest, in the small towns of the Illinois Valley and in the amazing public pools up in the Madison area.  I'll also be lakeside when I head up to Wisconsin, maybe even getting a waterskiing (or wakeboarding) run in after all these years.

Finally, we'll head out east to NYC again for the beginning of July.  We'll be in Amagansett, one of the towns along the coast of Long Island, enjoying the beach and the ocean.  Perhaps we'll even get up to enjoy some surfing in Montauk.

In every place I travel this summer, I'll have the water close by, so it seemed perfect to bring along some Louella Odie wraps and scarves to use.  Stay tuned for my Instagram posts, for the usual thrifting and eating adventures I'll take with the family in tow.  Look out also for a few blog posts about my other Summer Voyage adventures.

To kick off this Louella Odie Summer Voyage (#LOsummervoyage) a few weeks ago, we decided to have a good old Hong Kong Beach BBQ at our Secret Beach, complete with good friends and good food.

Bringing along good food were the "cookie lady," Sabrina Sikora and of course Vicki Malone of Vic and Lily Vintage who brought marshmallows and kebabs. Both ladies were a hit with the kiddos.  Sandra Smedhall of Style by Asia joined with her sweet pooch and former puppy sitting mate, Stella (no Hong Kong BBQ is complete without a dog).

In addition to these lovely ladies and their attachments (Sabrina brought her hubby Kevin and her sweet bubba Adam), Lauren Mead brought some lovely Louella Odie bags and accessories (check out her special edition hat with the shark print scarf tied around it).

Being a self profesed Louella Girl, I of course brought our beach belongings down in my own Louella Odie totes (the Bauhinia Bag and the Pomfret Bag), and the necessary sunblock etc fit nicely into the Slouchy Pouch with the garoupa fish on it.

I stayed mostly behind the camera, but as far as a 'shoot' goes, this one was all natural.  We didn't really stop to pose or take special product images.  We really just wanted to have a good time on the beach, Hong Kong style.  The kiddos and their friends had one objective, to roast marshmallows.

Ours was to enjoy each other's company, soak up some sun (it was scorching), and munch on the goodies while sipping on some wine.

And we did.

**Stay tuned to my Louella Odie Summer Voyage both here and on my Instagram feed.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Dressing Little Girls

Mothers of girls: this post is for you.

Have you ever been frustrated at the clothing options for little girls? 

I am.  Always.  In fact, upon returning to the States for our summer holidays, I was met with this frustration at Target, of all places.  I love this shop.  I look forward to our Target trips, as do my kiddos.  

Only yesterday, instead of finding exactly what I needed for my nine year old girl, which in this case was some good basic shorts for playing in the backyard, I struggled to find anything at all.  I mean anything that I would feel comfortable with her wearing (and her too, for that matter).

I was also very upset to find not only were shorts way to short, but there were even some denim cut offs that had distressing and creasing right in the crotch area.  For girls.  Between the ages of 4 and 10.  Am I the only one who feels like we shouldn't accentuate a little girls' crotch? Who really wants their girls to look like a hoochie?  Not me.

My nine year old seems to have entered this no man's land of girls clothes (somewhere between baby girl clothing and teenage girl clothing).  Retailers have deemed that girls of this age are fit to wear things that sexualize them as young women, and a certain type of young woman at that. There are just no tasteful options out there.

Plug PR contacted me a while back to see if I wanted to style my girls in some lovely pieces from Bonpoint.  They also have women's clothing, too.  When I saw that they had beautiful and appropriate pieces for them, I jumped at the chance.

Not only were the pieces stylish and well made, they also provided looks for girls that were modest and wholesome.  This is exactly what I want for my girls.

I picked two outfits each and we first headed off to the backyard playground by our house to snap some pictures.  The best thing about this location was being able to see just how practical these clothes are.  My big girl is an active one, and the shorts at Bonpoint were closer to a bermuda length which allowed her to play on the jungle gym or swing on the swings comfortably.

My littlest girl likes to wear dresses, almost exclusively, so naturally I picked a dress and skirt for her to wear.  For the second set of pictures, we returned to our house so they could have a make believe tea party on the back balcony.  

It was a hot day, so they were eager to be back inside where it was cool.

The dresses are lightweight and made of cotton, which is essential for little kid clothing. A good breathable fabric with easy care instructions.

The dress lengths fell right to their knees, as they should.  Anyone with kiddos knows how quickly they grow.  My big girl hit a real growth spurt this year and all of a sudden all her dresses are too short. And it's not just me, she tugs at her dresses and shorts when they're short because they reveal too much and make her feel embarrassed.  Kids shouldn't have to worry about their appearances when they play.

I also love the bright bold colors of the clothes at Bonpoint.  They're more like colors I would wear and in sweet prints, too.

At the end of our afternoon shoot, the girls both commented that they loved the clothes because they reminded them of things I liked to wear.  What sweeties.  They're right, too.  I'd wear every one of these pieces.

So there you have it.  Dressing your girls as they get older doesn't mean dressing them sexier.  It means helping them feel comfortable so they don't worry about how they look, so they can just be kids. 

***Thanks Plug PR for loaning us the clothes.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Double Louella, Double Take

As a perpetual wanderer of these back alleys in Stanley, I've grown to really love the market best when it's all closed down.  When the grungy walls with all the rusted nail holes are exposed.  When you can see what's behind all the displays when everything's put away.

I don't remember now why this shop was all shut on a Wednesday afternoon when I do my normal wandering while the kids are at art, but it was unusually vacant here.  

The big shop used to be Stanley Family Restaurant, a local Cantonese favorite, and outside there's usually a lady selling little silver charms.  Stanley Family was the latest casualty to high rent, which made us all sad because we so loved their food.  They have reopened in a smaller location and only for lunch, so at least we can satiate our pork neck and special chilli sauce cravings there.

Still, I shudder to think what might happen to my Stanley while we're away this summer.  I always cringe on my first walk back through these alleys after a summer away.

Incidentally, this is the same alley in which we held our Stanley Night Market.  It was a huge success and Hughie, Akiko and I are hopeful that it will invigorate this neighbourhood by injecting some new creative vibes here.  We were totally overwhelmed by the response and cannot wait to do it again.

I do remember this was one of those last remaining Spring days before it got too hot and humid to wear pants (or my little sweater blouses, for that matter).  This vintage sweater is one of my favorites from Vic and Lily on Etsy, and it suffered a near mishap when it was accidentally washed.  Oh, the blue color ran into the was a disaster.  Thankfully, I did manage to rescue it.  It was totally worth the tedious work of using an old toothbrush and some stain stick to gently rinse the bleeding color out.  

This was also a double Louella day (#doublelouella, it's a thing for this Louella Girl) - the Louella Odie Jungle Lily scarf and Slouchy pouch with embroidered fish.  The blue in both items is my absolute favorite.  So much so that I even went and got my hair colored blueish tonight.  Just wait.  I'll show you.  I kind of feel like a mermaid.

These last photos are a double take because my cheeky Cally decided to photo bomb.  Typical.

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