Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Summer of Books

During the school year it's nearly impossible to find time for leisure reading. That's why I'm making sure I take advantage of having a lot of free time this summer by reading often. It's the last summer before I finish undergrad so I'm really trying to figure some existential things out, and I am a total sucker for learning life lessons from books. I plan on sucking in as much wisdom as possible.

Most of the books I'm interested in are classic literature or set somewhere in American history. This post isn't some "10 Books Every Woman HAS To Read" list. Your literary interest might be completely different. This is just what I am excited to read this summer. Hopefully some of them might interest you as well!

(All summaries below are borrowed from Powell's.)

Shots rang out in Savannah's grandest mansion in the misty, early morning hours of May 2, 1981. Was it murder or self-defense? For nearly a decade, the shooting and its aftermath reverberated throughout this hauntingly beautiful city of moss-hung oaks and shaded squares. John Berendt's sharply observed, suspenseful, and witty narrative reads like a thoroughly engrossing novel, and yet it is a work of non-fiction. Berendt skillfully interweaves a hugely entertaining first-person account of life in this isolated remnant of the Old South with the unpredictable twists and turns of a landmark murder case.

The Last Picture Show by Larry McMurtry  
The Last Picture Show is one of Larry McMurtry's most memorable novels, and the basis for the enormously popular movie of the same name. Set in a small, dusty, Texas town, The Last Picture Show introduced the characters of Jacy, Duane, and Sonny: teenagers stumbling toward adulthood, discovering the beguiling mysteries of sex and the even more baffling mysteries of love. Populated by a wonderful cast of eccentrics and animated by McMurtry's wry and raucous humor, The Last Picture Show is a wild, heartbreaking, and poignant novel that resonates with the magical passion of youth.

Heaven Is Real by Todd Burpo 
When Colton Burpo made it through an emergency appendectomy, his family was overjoyed at his miraculous survival. What they weren't expecting, though, was the story that emerged in the months that followed — a story as beautiful as it was extraordinary, detailing their little boy's trip to heaven and back. Colton, not yet four years old, told his parents he left his body during the surgery — and authenticated that claim by describing exactly what his parents were doing in another part of the hospital while he was being operated on. He talked of visiting heaven and relayed stories told to him by people he met there whom he had never met in life, sharing events that happened even before he was born. He also astonished his parents with descriptions and obscure details about heaven that matched the Bible exactly, though he had not yet learned to read.

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a thirteen-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art. As an adult, Theo moves silkily between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty labyrinth of an antiques store where he works. He is alienated and in love — and at the center of a narrowing, ever more dangerous circle.

The Song Of The Lark by Willa Cather

Perhaps Willa Cather's most autobiographical work, The Song of the Lark charts the story of a young woman's awakening as an artist against the backdrop of the western landscape. Thea Kronborg, an aspiring singer, struggles to escape from the confines her small Colorado town to the world of possibility in the Metropolitan Opera House. In classic Cather style, The Song of the Lark is the beautiful, unforgettable story of American determination and its inextricable connection to the land.

Fire On The Mountain by John N. Maclean

In this acclaimed bestseller of investigative journalism, John N. Maclean chronicles the deadly 1994 Colorado forest fire that was wrongly identified at the outset as occurring in South Canyon. This misidentification was the first in a string of seemingly minor human errors that would be compounded into one of the greatest tragedies in the annals of firefighting as fourteen men and women firefighters — experts in their field — lost their lives battling the South Canyon blaze.

The Grapes Of Wrath by John Steinbeck
First published in 1939, Steinbecks Pulitzer Prize–winning epic of the Great Depression chronicles the Dust Bowl migration of the 1930s and tells the story of one Oklahoma farm family, the Joads, driven from their homestead and forced to travel west to the promised land of California. Out of their trials and their repeated collisions against the hard realities of an America divided into haves and have-nots evolves a drama that is intensely human yet majestic in its scale and moral vision, elemental yet plainspoken, tragic but ultimately stirring in its human dignity.

What book are you reading or planning on reading this summer?

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Summer 2014 Wishlist

I've been getting summer catalogs from various companies over the past couple weeks and I am in love with basically everything. This is a huge concern because my bank balance is currently lowww and with my summer travel dreams there's not alot of shopping allowance. For the most part I will be waiting to shop until end of summer sales come along, but until then I can dream ... 

Taste of My Wishlist: 

Delia Shift in Watch Out (Lilly Pulitzer) - $178

This dress looks like a classic Lilly shift in a Vineyard Vines print. It's fun while being a little more toned down than most Lilly print. And the price is pretty good as well, I had expected it to be about $100 more ... so that's a plus.

Circle G Brown Crust Boot (Corral) - $129.99
I haven't bought a fun pair of cowboy boots in a couple years. The ones I have are also from Corral and they have held up really well so I've been looking to buy another pair specific from them. Their new Circle G line look great and the price is nearly half of what I paid for a pair from the Vintage line. I want a darker boot and the texture of this one is really neat (seriously check out the close up photo, it's gorgeous) and the selling point for me.

Anchor Shep Shirt (Vineyard Vines) - $125

I really dislike the color red. Alot. Like, you will not find a single red item of clothing in my closet. People have told me that I look good in red, but until now I have actively avoided anything in the color. As a goal for my closet I'm hoping to add a teeeeensy bit of red. This shep shirt is the perfect item to do so. 

Dip Dye Dress (Judith March) - $98

This dress came out a while back, but it's new to my wishlist. I saw it while shopping on Sideline Sweetie (my favorite online boutique <3) and fell in love. It's just so sweet and fun. It's even red! (ish.) 

Gold Arizona Sandle (Birkenstock) - $129.99
I love my Birks just as much as every other Portlander. They're the Jack Rogers of the Northwest. I only own one pair that I bought when I was 15 so it seems about time for another. They have alot of fun colors and designs. I'm particularly fond of this gold one.

There's a glimse of my current wishlist. Share with me something you're eying ... 

Sunday, June 8, 2014

On My Mind ... 06 | 08 | 2014

Since spring break I've had trouble getting back into my healthy eating patterns. It's frustrating to think of how fit I was only a couple months ago. By the time summer ends I am determined to be more fit than ever and I decided to start by starting a juicing diet this week. This is really exciting for me. I found a good deal on a juicer at Macy's that the sale associate assured me was a great buy. If you're looking to buy a juicer check out the Cuisinart CJE-500BW juicer. I'll definitely post about my juicing experience after a couple weeks. Until then, has anyone juiced before? What was your experience like? I figure if juice led to Lilly Pulitzer, it can only be good. ;)

George Strait

The King of country music has officially retired from touring. Saturday he performed his last concert ever at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX. I've always been a fan which made it a huge honor for me to see him perform this past April when he performed in Portland. Last night I listened to my favorite George Strait songs and (maybe) cried a little bit. He is the heart of true country music. Last night's show ended his touring career appropriately by breaking the all time concert attendance record. More than 104,000 fans crammed together to witness the show. That's just ... amazing.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Buy Lilly Pulitzer For Cheap

I love my Lilly. Unfortunately she doesn't quite fit the Northwest-vibe so it's rare to see her colorful patterns around Oregon, Washington, or British Columbia. (Once I saw a strapless Lilly maxi in the spring break section of my local Nordies and almost had a heart attack ...) Not only do I have to buy all my Lilly online, this also means no warehouse sales, boutique clearance racks, or finding fellow Lilly lover's old pieces at a thrift shop.

As a result I've learned a couple ways to shop for Lilly (and other brands) without breaking the bank. You might already be aware of everything I have to share, but hopefully I can help you find a new shopping secret.

Official Sales // 
Lilly Pulitzer puts on three major sales every year. A warehouse sale (WHS) and two online sales. 

The warehouse sale generally takes place around early June near the Lilly headquarters in Pennsylvania. They sell leftovers from the past year, slightly damaged seconds, and samples. The women who shop the WHS often camp out days ahead of time to be one of the first in line. Since it's across the country I've never been, but you should check out this post from a fellow blogger about her experience at the sale.

The online sales take place around the beginning of January and the middle of August. I buy quite a bit of my Lilly from these sales. It is mostly stuff from recent seasons and the prices are good. (Dresses often marked down $200!)

Facebook Resale // 
If you haven't discovered the underground resale world you're missing out. Thousands of women connect through resale groups/pages to trade and sell their clothes. The socially accepted prices are far lower than they are on Ebay (I bought a Wiley top off resale for $12 and Ebay is currently selling the same one for $33). My favorite resale groups are Re-Lilly, Preppy Resale at Exceptional Prices, Perfectly Preppy Resale, Vineyard Vines Addicts, and Kate Spade Resale

Ebay // 
If you're looking for something in an old print this is a good place to look. There is always quite a bit of Lilly on Ebay. The only problem I have is that (in my opinion) the prices are often outrageous for used clothes. Prints colloquially referred to as "holy grails" (Hotty Pink First Impressions, You Gotta Regatta, etc ...) often go for 200%-300% their retail value. 

Check out misspellings by using and you might find some better prices. I do this all the time for different brands (it's amazing how many people spell Vineyard Vines incorrectly). Enough people do the same that usually the prices aren't significantly better, but it's worth a shot. At the very least you'll have more items to browse. 

PoshMark //
If you haven't checked out PoshMark it's similar to Ebay, but a phone app just for reselling clothes. I have quite a few complaints about the app itself, but it is alright and another place to browse for clothes at good prices. If you have anything to get rid of I like selling here because it's so easy.

Online Discount Stores //
Have you signed up for Rue La La? It's a great site that has different featured sales every day. If you aren't a member yet you'll need an invitation, click here. They often feature brand new Lilly at great prices. Try to shop early because they run out quickly. Rue La La has exciting sales for alot of other brands I like too. Just a while back they had a great Jack Rogers sale ... 

Another website to check out is 6pm. They always have Lilly up on their website at decent prices. 

That exhausts my Lilly shopping strategies. I hope it was helpful. 
Do you have any tips for shopping for your favorite brand?

P.S. Portlanders: Check out Mabel & Zora! It's an adorable boutique in the Pearl. They sell all sorts of clothes that I love, but it's especially exciting because they have Lilly. For those of you non-locals Mabel & Zora also have an online store you should check out! Their prices seem to run lower than retail. 

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