Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Hiking the PCT

With the hype from the book, Wild, by Cheryl Strayed being adapted in to a Reese Witherspoon movie this winter, the Pacific Crest Trail has gotten some attention.  It's a magnificent trail with a rich (near 100-year) history, and reaches from Mexico to Canada along the west coast.  In the book, Strayed recounts her experience hiking from Southern California to Oregon.  The details had me intrigued, and I was really eager to check it out for myself!

One day, while out exploring our new (beautiful!) state, Mike and I happened upon a trailhead for the PCT.  Mike had sprained his ankle, so the best we could do in the world of exploration was drive around the country.  As soon as my heart rate settled, we decided on coming back and hiking once the ankle healed enough.

Yesterday was the day!  We packed our backpacks with our new hiking standards -- peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and granola bars (protein is key!) -- and headed out into the wilderness.  It's always a good 10 degrees cooler in the mountains, and the crisp air hit us with an invigorating force once we stepped out of the car.  After depositing a quick permit describing the names of our party and duration of our hike (this box was directly next to the board providing the phone number for the WolfBear hotline and ranger conditions summary), we headed out.

Once we figured out which direction to go (5 minutes of back-and-forth-ing later), we were quickly engulfed in the lush foliage and fresh wood smells.  The whole hike was gorgeous, but my favorite part by far was a rocky section of the trail where we had panoramic mountain views, and an occasional glimpse of waterfalls and cute little furry woodland creatures (none of the bear or wolf variety, thankfully).

We spent about 4 hours out on the hike, and I'm eager to go back!  I felt a small connection with Cheryl, sharing the experience of the order of nature and feeling so small, but also so free.  I truly feel best in those wide open spaces with the fresh air and vast skies.  I love this beautiful state.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Dare of the day: fall trends all week long

Summer days may be coming to an end, but that also means that Fashion New Year has arrived. Fall presents all sorts of new beginnings: new schoolyear, new cooler temps, but most of all, it's time for new trends in the fashion world. Here's a challenge to you to step out with a fashion dare each day of the week: 

Monday: Silk plaid blouse. Plaid is a fall classic, but things have gotten more exciting this season. Plaid prints on silky blouses are coming up everywhere. It's a much more feminine take on the lumberjack-inspired fall trend, and totally work-appropriate. Plus, it's a great transitional top, light enough to start wearing now.

Tuesday: Full pleated skirt. After a break from A-line styles, the classic pleats are back in session. Black keeps the look from getting to frilly. Pair with cable-knit tights and booties for an updated look.

Wednesday: Statement necklace. No longer in the fruity pastels of spring, this fall's statement necklaces are showing up with a darker edge. Baroque-inspired darker gems, mixed metals, and hefty scales are the new norm. Paired with your trusty basics (a simple blouse, a black shift, a white tee), this speeds up your morning prep and keeps you on trend.

Thursday: Vegan leather moto jacket. By now, we're just ready for a quick, no-fuss outfit. Just like a trusty denim jacket, you can throw this over just about anything you've already got. Try it over a flouncy dress to translate it into fall wear.

Friday: Distressed skinny jeans. Take Casual Fridays a step further and rock the rips. Keep your standard dark-wash skinnies around, but the look for fall is distressed. Perfect for date night when paired with a feminine, flowy top.

Saturday: Wide-brimmed wool hat. Embrace second-day hair for a laid-back Saturday. Paired with classic pieces like a tee and jeans, these hats are a bit moody and chic. Perfect for strolls through farmer's markets or out antiquing.

Sunday: Track pants. These comfy guys are more than just sweatpants. Pair with a graphic tee and Thursday's moto jacket for an updated look that takes you from the football field to the pub afterwards!

Women's Jersey-Tuxedo Joggers | Old Navy

Thursday, September 11, 2014

What we'll be wearing next spring

New York Fashion Week results are in: stripes on stripes, stripes and florals, stripes on pants, stripes, stripes, stripes! Stripes are a springtime classic, and no designer has missed the memo for their Spring/Summer 2015 designs.  Also on the rise are vintage floral patterns and micropleats.  It's so fun to see each designer's individuality in their designs.  While perusing the Fashion Week photos, the fashion truly felt fun, and I was so ready to gobble up these pieces, though we are just barely on the cusp of fall!

Looks like Rachel Zoe has escaped her usual black and white designs for this candy-striper-inspired ensemble!  Matching shortsuits are also on the rise amidst all designers, creating a streamlined look with a vintage appeal. 

Here, Alice + Olivia plays with the matchy trend, too.

You can always count on A+O for great pattern-mixing.  Stripes & florals are always a do in my book!

She has also caught onto the big culottes trend coming this spring! 

Kate Spade is always in my favorites, and I just love this look!  It dips into three trends: the crop top, the midi skirt, and the stripes & florals combo.  Bravo, Deborah Lloyd!

Joie can always be counted on for beautiful, feminine fabrics and prints.  I love the tiny pleats of this beautiful midi skirt.  The full silhouette makes it a universally flattering style for all body types, too!

Speaking of pleats, on a way rave-i-er note, Marc Jacobs did micropleats to perfection with his collection:

(The twisty buns don't hurt, either.)

And Rebecca Taylor, always so feminine and beautiful, did great little peeks of micropleats in her designs, too.

Also, be on the lookout for cropped pants, and especially ones with a teeny bell on the end, like in this Cynthia Rowley ensemble:

In all cases, big retro prints are a go, especially in suit form!

Though I'm excited for Pumpkin Spice Everything and cozy sweaters, the NYFW SS15 shows have gotten my palate prepped for the spring at the end of the tunnel.  To see more from the many talented designers, visit for wonderfully organized photos and reviews of each collection.  

All photos via