Friday, November 30, 2012

Happy Snapshots: November

This fall season is going by so quickly. I know I keep saying a variation of this, but it must be because I'm getting old and I retain less and less everyday. (There's science behind this! Children experience time more slowly than we adults do. If I've got this right, they're building memories from many more things that they experience during the course of a day; we adults have already done that work and so ignore lots of the minutiae of daily life.) Still, I remember that November was a darn good month overall. There were birthdays, cuddly babies, Thanksgiving, my anniversary, new beautiful dresses, and lots of Fluevog in my life this month! I couldn't ask for anything more. (Well, except to be done with my dissertation already, but I guess you can't have everything.) Without further ado, this month's snapshots:

Post-Halloween silliness

My mom posing in front of the Mark Taper Forum in downtown Los Angeles

Election Tuesday, November 6, 2012. I take my right to vote seriously.

Fluevog Mahalo in the Wearever family: Gorgeous shoes, but I sold these because they're too large for comfort.

Fluevog Elijah in the Earth Angel family: Vintage booties that are sadly too small for comfort. These are still up for sale.

Trying to distract him from the long wait at the restaurant for my mom's birthday brunch. I know I look scary but he actually loves it when I do stuff like this. He gets all baby-ish and cuddly. Funny kid.

Speaking of babies: my twin nephews are getting so big! I can't wait until they start babbling.

One of my favorite autumn dishes to make from the vegetables in my weekly farm box -- a recipe for cruciferous greens, like mustard greens, kale, chard, beet greens, and more. The secret is braising them with a combo of ginger and cumin, and the greens turn wonderfully sweet. Recipe forthcoming.

Another favorite autumn/winter dish, and great for treating colds. This is the Filipino version of chicken soup (with rice). Tons of ginger and onion plus some garlic really make me happy. Recipe forthcoming.

Seeing all of the seat belts in use this way made me smile. From L-R: the kiddo in his car seat, his Thomas the Engine rolling backpack, and his favorite stuffed animal B.B.

Fluevog Raphael in the Earth Angel family: Suede ankle boots that I still wear and love. These were the shoes I wore for my daytime date with the hubby on our 10-year anniversary last week. Not the sexiest pair of shoes, I admit, but they're beautiful and comfortable, and they make me happy. That seems apt, don't you think? :-)
xo, Gladys

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Thanksgiving Outfit

Dress: Eva Franco via ModCloth | Gray stockings: ? | Maryjane heels: Fluevog Malibran (Operetta family)
Photo courtesy of my aunt E

These were our Thanksgiving outfits. I'm quite enamored with the dress I wore. It's another splurge from ModCloth -- an Eva Franco dress on final clearance that is still available in the smaller sizes as of this writing. I love the fabric design, and the dress fits me perfectly at the shoulders, bust, and waist, which is rare for a shorty like me (I'm 5'1"). It's almost as if it was tailored for a petite size. The only thing is, the hem hits me at the knees, so I think it looks more formal on me than it would on someone who's, say, 5'7". Anyway, once I tried it on, I knew I had to wear it to our Thanksgiving family party last week. (Happy belated Thanksgiving to those who celebrated.) I also considered wearing it to the upcoming company Xmas party I mentioned a couple of posts ago, but decided the green Elizabeth shoes wouldn't go as well with the mint green of this dress.

By the way, did you notice my new haircut? No more crazy bangs with split ends, hooray!

Finally, I apologize for the quality of these photos. My DSLR camera has been a little neglected lately. I swear I've been wearing some cute outfits the past couple of weeks, but I simply haven't been able to catch good natural light to take proper photos. It gets dark so early now. But I'll try to find a hack around the lighting issue; if not, I'll just take indoor pictures and edit the photos as needed. Bottom line, I'll try to do better in December. :-)

xo, Gladys

Friday, November 23, 2012

Ten Years Ago

We look so young!

For this special day, I took out my scanner. This photo was taken ten years ago, on the day we said our I-do's in front of a judge with the most penetrating gaze I've ever encountered. She reminded me a little bit of my 8th-grade English teacher. I think that was part of the reason I started crying while reciting my vows.

Just 'cuz this is part fashion blog, I'll note that the dress came from a wedding shop in Urbana or Champaign, Illinois, called Duckie's. The wrap (and my silver-gray flats, not pictured) came from JC Penney's somewhere in Los Angeles. The necklace was a birthday gift from my soon-to-be parents-in-law. My husband wore the suit he'd had since high school.

Happy 10th Anniversary to my other half! Whew, we're getting old. Here's to another decade of growing old together, hopefully gracefully.

xo, Gladys

Monday, November 19, 2012

Holiday Dress Shopping

This isn't much of an outfit, but more of a preview. I think I've found my holiday dress, which I plan to wear with my new Fluevog Elizabeth heels.

Dress: Tulle Los Angeles via ModCloth | Sandals: Worishofer via Amazon

I tried to blur out some of the crazy mess of my bedroom, just to save your eyes (and my dignity, haha).

Anyway, this dress was among a couple of armfuls of dresses that I ordered specifically to match the Fluevogs (theme: green, or red). Of the whole bunch, this was the dress I gravitated to the most. The others will be returned to ModCloth without any pangs of regret. I am a big fan of the brand Tulle. I seem to end up buying their clothes, even when I don't know they're the brand, because their design aesthetic just pleases me. Most of their dresses also have pockets, which is a major plus for me if you don't already know that. Thus far I have four dresses and one awesome purple plaid coat. This new green-and-black dress will make five (and yes, it has hidden pockets at the hips!). The fabric is a stiff polyester with the lacy black scallops embedded into the outside of the fabric, but it is smooth (no lace) inside. This is what it looks like on the dress form:

Even though the shape on the dress form is retro 1950s or 1960s, the fact that the waist is loose-fitting and higher than my natural waist, though not empire, prevents it from taking that classic shape. Instead, the overall pear shape of the dress when worn makes it seem less "Mad Men" and more "modern company holiday dinner and dance party" (with the right shoes, of course ;-) ).

However, the thing about ordering from ModCloth is that you end up putting things in your cart just to try them on. I've been drooling over Trollied Dolly dresses for a long while now, but they rarely go on sale. Well, when two recently went on sale for less than $65, I went ahead and ordered them both just to try them on, and *gulp* I think I'm keeping this navy-and-candy-dots one.

This definitely fits the way it does on the dress form. So flattering! And I love all the details -- peter pan collar, narrow white piping for definition, button accents, and pockets! It's 100% cotton and very comfortable. It can be worn with or without the belt since it's quite structured. The candy-colored polka dots make me really happy, and I plan to wear this for Xmas day celebrations at my house when my family come to visit for the day.

Holiday dress shopping: MISSION ACCOMPLISHED. :-D

xo, Gladys

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Blue and Orange at Brunch

This is what I wore to celebrate my mom's birthday. We went to a fancy brunch buffet that she loves, Castaway in Burbank. The restaurant is situated on the Par 3 of a golf course way up in the hills, and the view of the valley below is pretty spectacular.

Dress: Style & Co. via Macy's | Cardi: Cherry Knit USA via ModCloth | Tights: Sockdreams | Boots: Fluevog Volunteer (Prepare family)

I bought this dress online last winter and have worn it maybe once or twice. I think the weather last year warmed up pretty quickly soon after the purchase. Now, however, is the perfect time to wear it in this desert climate. After the lingering summer heat, we basically skipped fall weather and landed in winter. The dress is warm and very comfortable, and I like how the shift style can be dressed up or down. And hey, it's got pockets, not to mention some nice button accents. I almost wore it with a different pair of Fluevog clogs, my lovely blue Guide sandals (see here), but I'm glad that I changed my mind. It would have been too matchy-matchy and formal; instead the gorgeous boots kept things a little more casual, and it worked because the blue of the dress was neutral enough for the contrasting bright color (like wearing the boots with jeans).

Here's a family photo. My mom, seated with my kiddo on her lap, was really happy that day, as you can see. :-) I'm holding one of the twins, N, and my sister-in-law is holding her other twin son, R. (Does she look like she's barely had any sleep? I couldn't tell. She's still glowing!) Anyway, those two baby boys are humongous now after only 7 weeks of life. It was wonderful to hang out with them and hold them all day after the yummy brunch.

Here's my little family. It's not a very good portrait -- the sun was pretty bright and the kiddo was restless -- but it's the best one we have of the three of us that day. All in all, a great way to spend Sunday.

xo, Gladys

P.S. Another happy coincidence with this month's Everybody, Everywear theme: BOOTS!

Image 5687

Monday, November 12, 2012

Sewing: Piped Throw Pillow

I made this throw pillow for my mom's birthday recently, using the instructions from Deborah Moebes's Stitch by Stitch: Learning to Sew, One Project at a Time. I've done the easy projects in the beginning, but this pillow is past the middle of the book. The main features: piping along the edges and a universal zipper, both of which are skill-stretchers for me. (I made a skirt two summers ago with a zipper, but it didn't turn out as well as this one did.) I got the beautiful fabric on sale last December at the local quilting/fabric store here.

Confession: I had meant to make this for my mom last Christmas, but after I missed the deadline I kept pushing it back for almost a year. The fabric is even called Lumière de Noël by French General -- Light of Christmas. I did begin the project last December; I cut the fabric pieces and started putting the piping together, but I think it was because the piping was so fussy that I felt like abandoning the project.

So fast forward to this past weekend, which was my FINAL deadline for this pillow. The fabric pieces and half-pinned piping had been sitting neglected in one of my fabric bins for many, many months. I finally took the plunge and tried to sew the bias tape around the 1/4"-cord to make the piping. Second confession: while working on finally finishing the pillow, I wish I had abandoned it ... or at least made a sample pillow beforehand to test the instructions. Here are my reasons:

1) I used a slippery polyester (poly/cotton blend?) red bias tape that I bought in a package at Jo-Ann's.  It's 2" wide and is basically blanket binding. Next time I will use 100% cotton fabric for the bias tape, even if I have to make it myself. The pattern instructions strongly suggest the 100% cotton, but when I was planning out the project last year, I had no idea how to make my own bias tape. The slipperiness of the polyester made pinning and covering the cord very irritating. Fussy is the word.

2) The instructions in the pattern I used were confusing at times, even though I figured it all out in the end. Another thing I'd do differently is that I wouldn't baste the bias tape so close around the cord; some of the stitching shows up on the outside once you've put together the pillowcase at the end.

3) And, most critical, there was one very definite error that turned my pillow into the "shabby chic" thing you see here. Instead of trimming the seam allowance of the piping to 1/2", the instructions said to trim it to 1/4". (There was a photo of trimming the seam allowance that looked like 1/2" to me, but I figured, since I hadn't seen any errata about the book online, that the instructions were probably correct.) That's a big deal since it gave me a mere 1/4" of fabric to baste, pin, and sew three different layers together. NOT FUN. Also, instead of ending up with an elegant-looking fitted pillowcase for a 16" x 16" pillow form, I had a pillowcase that was about 1/4" loose all around, or a 1/2" loose each in length and width. Yeah, shabby chic. (Sure, I could have gotten another pillow form sized 17" x 17" but I didn't have time.)

4) Inserting the universal zipper turned out relatively well, but the instructions were a little confusing ... which part is the zip stop? which end is the top or bottom? (apparently the zipper pull is in the top position when closed, as seen below) ... I had to suss it out by looking at the photos. I'm just glad it worked out for me.

5) There were two different ways that the zipper foot for my sewing machine needed to be used: one way with the piping and another way with the zipper. The instructions weren't very clear on that. That's why I messed up on sewing across the zipper teeth. I didn't have enough time to fix it since all the mistakes pushed the project to the 11th hour already. And the inside/wrong side of the pillowcase is, whew, ugly.

HOWEVER, I did finally finish this project which was a long time coming. It feels good to be able to cross off something on my list that had been hanging over my head for almost a year. If I make another similar pillow soon, I believe I'd be more comfortable with the project, and I could get that fitted look instead. Hopefully everything would be neater as well.

xo, Gladys

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Halloween and Holiday Outfits

Hard to believe it's already Thursday! It feels like the week has flown by. My son didn't have school on Monday or Tuesday (and Tuesday night was spent waiting on election results), so I guess my Wednesday felt like Monday. Anyway, I just wanted to share a few photos from Halloween last week when we went trick-or-treating with our friends.

The great Batman shirt came from Target; he changed from the black short-sleeved shirt he wore earlier that day because it was actually a little chilly here on Halloween (for the past few years, Halloween has been pretty warm at night). He really enjoyed himself, and so did his friends. Of course, he got way too much candy for one little kid. Thankfully he's already forgotten about the remainder. Hoping to keep it that way and use the rest as sporadic treats through the next year.

Marginally related: I've been looking for a holiday party outfit that will match the soon-to-be-mine Fluevog Elizabeth maryjanes. (I'll have them in my hands by the end of the month!) What could match the style of these?

This outfit that young Sasha Obama wore on Election Night really caught my eye. I could definitely do a black and green two-piece outfit.

Photo from the HuffPost

Sadly, however, that skirt is from a 2010 collection by designer Chris Benz. Highly doubt it was mass-produced. (Plus it was probably several hundred dollars.)

So instead I've been scouring ModCloth for some possibilities. I'm considering maroon and red dresses along with green, and trying to find a party style that's appropriate for my husband's company party: so not too prom, but dressier than the kind of outfit I'd wear to an office job. I wore this last year (terrible photos) and might go for a similar style again, just in green or red. We'll see how it goes when I'm able to try on the items I've ordered at ModCloth. By the way, they're having a 25% off holiday sale right now. It won't match the coming sale in December, but if you're looking for a holiday outfit now, it might be a good time to look there.

xo, Gladys

Monday, November 5, 2012

Polka Dots at Play

Over the weekend, I watched a play in downtown Los Angeles with my mother for her birthday, and this is what I wore.

Dress: Monteau Los Angeles via ModCloth | Cardi: Banana Republic (hand-me-down from my mom) | Tights: GAP | Shoes: Fluevog Qtee (Mini family)

This has to be in my Top 3 favorite outfits this year. From the dress to the cardi to the tights to the shoes ... they all came together just the way I dreamed up the outfit in my head, dressy enough for the Mark Taper Forum but still casual enough for a weekend matinee. (And I had four pockets to work with! Woohoo!) I'm so glad I got to wear my new Coach Tour dress before the weather got too dreary for bright white and polka dots. It was a beautiful sunny day in southern California. The cardi turned out to be too warm for driving, but it was just fine inside the theater.

You probably couldn't tell from the photos above, but (see photo below) my tights had tiny flocked dots as well. Dark pink ones. The lady sitting next to me at the theater said she really liked my tights. And not only did the dots on the tights echo the polka dots of the dress, but their pink color also echoed the burgundy of my beautiful shoes. Pretty sweet, right? ;-)

And oh, the collar of this dress! With the cardigan, the collar looks almost like a scarf from the back. I just love the design of this dress. It's why I have the same dress in three colors/patterns (see here and here; and I am seriously crushing on the "winter" pattern).

Finally, here is a closeup of the Gibson tuck that I tried the last time I wore the shoes. This attempt was much neater, if a little lopsided, and thankfully my bangs have grown long enough in four weeks that they're not so messy and in-my-eyes all the time. I still plan to get a haircut and a trim for my bangs, but until then, I won't need to pin them up constantly.

xo, Gladys

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Recipe: Almond Flour Blueberry Waffles

If you have a waffle maker/iron, this is for you. I changed up the basic waffle recipe that came with my Cuisinart Classic Waffle Maker and turned it almost paleo by using coconut oil, coconut milk, and honey, and substituting half of the flour for almond flour* ... and it is delicious and just as addicting as a regular waffle. I'm going by how quickly my bread-and-potatoes husband gulps these down. I've been making waffles at least once a week for the past month or so, because my son asks for them all the time. (You can cook these as pancakes as well, but it's not as easy and quick as having the waffle iron do the work for you.)

Almond Flour Blueberry Waffles
(adapted from the Cuisinart Waffle Maker instruction booklet)
Makes 8-10 waffles

  • 1 cup bleached almond flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons coconut oil, melted on low heat
  • 14 oz coconut milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup frozen blueberries (you can substitute fresh blueberries, other berries, chocolate chips, or anything else you'd like)


Place melted coconut oil and dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix until well combined. Add coconut milk and eggs and mix until smooth. Lastly, stir in frozen blueberries until evenly combined. Preheat waffle maker.

Pour slightly less than 1/2 cup batter into waffle maker for each waffle, and cook to desired brownness. Use heat-proof spatula to carefully remove baked waffle, and place it on a cooling rack if you want a crisp waffle, or serve immediately. (Butter, maple syrup, more fresh fruit, the works.)

You can freeze any extras, and simply reheat them in a toaster or toaster oven. (Freezing-then-toasting is a good option if you like them nice and crispy.)

* Nota bene: I tried to make these using ALL almond flour, but it did NOT work out at all. There wasn't enough of a binder in the batter so the waffle never cooked in one piece. Instead, the waffle (the only one I tried) stuck to the NON-STICK grid of the waffle maker. :-/ I'm not sure if I should have put in less liquid or added a ripe banana or arrowroot powder ... ? Sadly I don't fully understand the chemistry of foods, and I don't often experiment with food because I hate to waste ingredients if things go wrong. But changing up the basic waffle recipe the way I did above was something I'd successfully done before. Otherwise, I'm not much fun in the kitchen. :-)

xo, Gladys

Friday, November 2, 2012

Happy Snapshots: October

Happy November! (Already???)

October was an almost-overwhelmingly busy month, dominated by a week-long trip to Hawai'i in the middle of it. We spent the first week of October getting ready for the trip (with a dinner out with my friends one Saturday evening), then as soon as we got back, I threw myself into Halloween preparations and costume-making (see the last two posts) so that we could attend an early Halloween party, go to this month's Halloween-themed contra dance, and go trick-or-treating the night of. Then there was a quick visit to the Fluevog store on Melrose and a couple of days helping a friend move sandwiched between all of that.... I'll confess that I still haven't caught up with house-cleaning since we got back from our vacation -- though if you know me at all that's not much of a surprise. :-) Here are some of my favorite snapshots from last month.


One of the best seafood paellas I've ever eaten (George's Inka Grill)


Fluevog Believes (Hope family) in Hawai'i

Wearing my new Fluevog Qtees (Mini family) in the house ... just for fun

Cute (but not very comfortable) ballet flats on sale from ModCloth, a brand called Bumper


Love my two guys

First half hour in Hawai'i, all sweaty already

Showing off their Aulani resort bracelets after coming home from Hawai'i

Requisite pumpkin patch photo in October

A different pumpkin patch, out on a field trip with his classmates (btw, that's gum on the left side of his mouth, not a fanged tooth!)

xo, Gladys
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