Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Announcing a winner!

I got so swept up in my nightly routine that I nearly forgot to pick a winner for the Louella Odie Travelogue giveaway.  Tonight's winner of her very own Pomfret Bag is none other than an old high school mate!  Though I haven't seen her in over twenty years (sorry Midori, I've given away our age), I'm thrilled that she'll be getting her own bag. 

Be sure to post pictures on Facebook and tag Louella Odie and me when you do!

And thanks again to everyone for all your enthusiastic support of this travelogue project.  It was a fun summer collaboration.  Don't worry, there are more fun things coming from Louella Odie and I will be sure to share those here.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Feel Good Fashion: Square Street

Yesterday, I popped over to the Design Market at PMQ where local Hong Kong designers and locally based retailers set up booths to showcase and sell their products.  Totally my scene.

Wandering around the booths and stopping to chat with some of my designer friends, I was inspired to get back to this Feel Good Fashion series.  I really love that PMQ has become a creative hub for Hong Kong and I think it's important to highlight all the amazing people who are into art and design, who are moving Hong Kong forward.

One such place is squarestreet.  Home to shoe designer Alexis Holm, whose line of footwear called Gram is designed and sold there along with watch designer David Ericsson, whose VOID watches are on sale there, too.  This is the same squarestreet that stocks those gorgeous Moheda Swedish clogs that I had the privilege of styling up and shooting for them. (Read that post here).

I love their showroom, which recently went under remodeling so they could relocate the office space and dedicate more of their store front to display the beautiful products.  The space is clean and modern, with their products following the same aesthetic.

In the Spring of last year, square street came out with a special edition SQ100's shoe in support of the Clean Air Network here in Hong Kong.  They were covered in animal footprints to serve as a reminder  to go places on foot rather than to use motor vehicles.

I nabbed myself a pair and wore them all summer long to tromp the streets of Manhattan and Brooklyn, NYC, ride my bike along the quiet streets of Oglesby and the bike paths of Greater Madison and hit up the thrift shops and estate sales all over.

Lately, my shoe choice has been of the more comfortable (and dare I say, practical) persuasion.  I won't venture to guess why because I'm not ready to admit to anything, so we'll leave it at that.

Postlude:  I took these outfit pictures way back before the summer, when it was a heck of a lot cooler than it is now.  I like that I can pair these shoes with my vintage dresses.  I think they work quite nicely that way.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Not ready to let go

Today I sent my first born, my baby, off to Middle School.  To Middle School!!!  I remember Middle School.  I was little.  I was shy.  I felt embarrassed practically all the time and always super self conscious.  I was always comparing myself to others and feeling bad if I felt different.  

At one point during the orientation today, we parents were asked if we remembered our own excitement at entering Middle School.  Several of us chuckled and agreed that it was perhaps a time that we'd tried hard not to remember.

And here I am, the parent of a middle schooler.  I've sent my child into this environment.  Lord help me.  I think turbulent times are ahead.  Although, given this last year of preteen mood swings that I've navigated and mostly survived, perhaps I'll be okay.

As with every change, there's a bittersweet feeling of the end of one stage and the excitement at the beginning of another.  I've noticed over the last few weeks that Buddy has been really sweet and affectionate, nuzzling in and telling me he loves me.  We've had many moments of quiet, where it's been just us and we've had some lovely conversations.  We were bike riding buddies this summer, going on one each evening. One day when I asked Ella to come too, he got upset and huffed home.  It made me realize that he liked the alone time when it was just us.

I'll take these moments while I can.  Yesterday, I changed my plans to exercise after work because Buddy asked if I would take him to get a haircut before the first day.  We needed to pick up some locks for his locker, and I'd wanted to have a quiet chat with him anyhow, so off we went.

After getting his hair cut and running a few errands and taking outfit pictures, we stopped in for a drink at Pacific Coffee.  We had a little chat about responsibility, especially about when he'll be old enough to go places on his own, like Stanley.  He heard my worries and I heard his desire for independence.  We agreed that this was new territory and we both would need to get used to each other not always feeling the same way about things.  And that's okay.

It was good.  But I also think that I'm about to enter the hardest stage of parenting, yet.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

A Louella Odie Travelogue Giveaway!

Surprise!  The big secret is a giveaway!

To thank you all for following along with my travels this summer and for supporting our collaboration, Louella Odie would like to giveaway one of their gorgeous bags to a lucky reader.

All their bags are gorgeous, but the Pomfret Bag really set the tone for all my outfits this summer.  I feel like I had the red, white and blue nautical trend running throughout everything I wore.  They're such summery colors, I think.

From wandering the quiet small town streets, to bumping around in hipster Brooklyn to look for vintage treasures, there was always adventure to be had.

I really enjoyed bringing you stories of the places I traveled, and I have to say I gained new perspective on these well loved locations.

Between the blog posts and the Instagram updates, I hope you got a good feel for what I saw this summer.  I'd love to hear your thoughts about my travelogue in the comments, so please leave me a little note.  If you'd like to reread them, simply type Louella Odie Travelogue into the search bar at the top left side of my page (under my blogger profile info).

To enter the giveaway, simply select some of the options below to gain entries and a chance to have your name drawn to become the new owner of your very own Pomfret Bag.  The giveaway will close on August 26th at 5pm Hong Kong time, so make sure you get your entries in!

Thank you so much to Lauren and Karen Mead for collaborating with me on this fun project and giving me these lovely bags to take with me.  Here's hoping we'll work together again on something fun and new in the future!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

The downside of travel

Oh the jet lag.  It sucks!  

And I really seem to be having a hard time of it this time.  Last night the hubby and I were both up at 3 a.m., unable to fall back to sleep.  I rested (kept my eyes shut and dozed on and off), but my mind was awake.  The hubby was just awake.

Fortunately, the kiddos were fast asleep and seem to be doing mostly fine.  The first two nights were hard.  We had to do some major work (read: bribe with ice cream) to keep them up around dinner time.

I'm not sure what they say about which way it is that jet lag is harder (going or coming), but I think that jet lag is harder when we come back.  There's no motivation to stay awake (like being on vacation).  We're just back at work.

Maybe, just maybe...things will get better in two days.  Until then, it's stay vigilant not to sleep when you're tired during the day, which is really all you want to do because you're tired.

Next week, I'll get back to normal, I hope.  More than just one post.  I mean, I think you can forgive me for not posting.  I've flown halfway across the world, I've survived two days back at work, I've put three kiddos back on a normalish schedule....I'm mostly unpacked....blah, blah, blah.

In the meantime, here are some glimpses of our last days of summer vacation.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Travelogue with Louella Odie: In the garden

The longer I live in Hong Kong, the more I appreciate the feel of fresh grass under my bare feet when I come back to America for the summer.  

And the time spent just sitting out in the backyard at my in-laws' house.

The kiddos love to help my father-in-law pick veggies from his garden and I love to wander over to the neighbor's garden and admire all the bright colorful flowers.

I don't claim to be a green thumb, but I do love flowers.  My mother has taught me the names of so many and even bought me a book about plants when we bought our first house.  Flowers remind me of my grandmother, too.  She had the most beautiful rose garden at her house in Australia.  

Despite the mozzies being a little annoying this year, the summer has been full of perfect backyard garden days.  Low humidity (comparatively speaking for us Hong Kongers), cool evenings perfect for spotting the fireflies and the bunnies and sleeping with windows open nearly every night.

Yesterday, the neighbor (yes, the carnival man) mentioned that his grapes were turning red and they needed to be picked.  Our girls jumped at the chance.  Though they are a little tart, they felt very accomplished picking enough to fill a whole bowl.  Perhaps we'll make juice...

In three short days, we pack up to fly back to Hong Kong.  It will be good to get home and back to our usual routine.  Until then, you know where you can find me.

Next week, I'll be announcing a fun surprise to end to my summer Travelogue with Louella Odie.  I started with an Instagram picture right here in this garden, so it seemed fitting to end it here.  I hope you've enjoyed these posts as much as I've enjoyed writing them.  Of course, none of it would have been possible without my hubby taking such lovely photos.  Much of the artistic direction and ideas for posts came from him.  He has an eye for it.  You'll see what I mean when you look at his Instagram feed (@joey_no_)

Don't forget to take advantage of the exclusive discount on the Louella Odie website by using the code 'traveltribe' at checkout! 

Friday, August 1, 2014

Backyard bubbles

It's the simple things that having a backyard allows that I will miss the most.

Today, the hubby decided he'd research bubble mixture online; I mean making those huge gigantic bubbles with an enormous wand made from rope and PVC pipe.  After finding a recipe, he and Buddy went off to Home Depot to get supplies and they came home and set to work.

I like when the boys work on DIY projects together; a little bit of light construction cutting and sanding PVC pipes is the kind of thing Buddy loves.

Although the recipe was initially a flop (quite literally, the bubble mixture didn't stick), in the end it was quite a bit of fun.

First for the grown ups.

But soon the kiddos joined in.

Then after tweaking the mixture,  making different bubble wands, and learning the technique of pulling the mixture and wand out of the bowl and flicking your wrist just enough, we soon had lots of bubbles.  We were all enjoying ourselves.

Simple fun. 

All together. 

In the backyard.

And in case you think this was a special day because you've spotted a bouncy castle, I have to burst your bubble (hehe, couldn't resist).  Because my in laws live next door to a carnival man, my kiddos get all kinds of fun perks.

On Tuesday we had this sticky mess!

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