Autumn Whites

The "no white after Labor Day" "rule" simply cannot apply to Southern California. While it is now officially Autumn, the temperature is still hovering around 90-100 degrees.

Yesterday was one of those hot days. I woke up late in the morning to a phone call inviting me to visit my friends' newborn. I had to put together an outfit in a hurry. It was already 90 degrees at that point, so it made sense to wear something light and casual:

[Gap eyelet blouse, a 3-rhinestone necklace that I got for a buck at Robinsons-May years ago, American Eagle Outfiters shorts, cuff from Etsy, Pour La Victoire sandals, Liz Claiborne bag, Raybans. No, I do not have two-toned hair; I'm not sure what funny tricks the camera was playing on me.]

I've been eyeing this Constellation cuff from Clare Stoker for quite some time, and I'm so glad that I finally got it. I like jewelry that are subtle but eye-catching, and this fits the bill--the brushed brass surface and the random holes of different sizes make the cuff simple and beautiful. It also fits my small wrist very well. The holes also happen to complement the eyelet blouse.

What a difference a day makes. The weather really cooled down today, so I finally got to wear those colorblock tights. Sadly, a splinter on a wooden chair I sat on snagged a hole already. I did some repairs, and I hope that my handiwork holds up. Pictures to come after I manage to make a few more outfits out of them.



Blogging will probably slow to a crawl for the next month or two. Unfortunately, I don't have much time or energy to do much of anything these days; I don't think I have been this exhausted for quite some time, and I can't quite figure out why even after accounting for work. I'm just gonna take it easy for a few weeks.

In other news, I finally got the frickin' amazing grayscale colorblock tights in the mail from the UK. (Still waiting for the crazy alphabet tights, which are back-ordered). The gradation between the bottom two panels are awesome, though I don't see much difference between the top two, perhaps because I'm not tall enough to stretch them out as they should be. But they are still frickin' amazing, and I'm just hoping the weather will cool down enough this weekend for me to play with them. It's been 90-100 degrees this week. We're expecting a lull for a few days, and then the big oven will turn back on again. Sigh...

In the meantime, check out how Susie Bubble makes them work. When I bought the tights, I had no clue what I was going to do with them; they were just cool, and I figured I'll figure something out. When Susie's post came out, I was totally stoked and got a few ideas. As much as I'm tempted to get one of the colored ones, which looks great on her, I don't think I can pull them off like Susie. She rocks them like nobody's business.


Car Wash in the City

Getting my car washed is like pulling teeth. I used to be able to hose down the car and give it a good rub-a-dub, but no more. My car now gets its rest in an underground garage, where a garden hose is not readily available. Even if a garden hose is available, I could not use it liberally--with an ongoing drought in California comes water use restrictions and/or higher rates for high water use.

For weeks, my car had been coated with dust and dirt from ordinary use. With the recent fires going on in the surrounding mountains, the buildup got even worse. I was finally forced to confront the problem last weekend, since I was expecting family visiting from out of town in the coming days.

Shame spurred surprisingly good solutions. I went to Target to pick up some car washing supplies. I already had a 16 quart (15L) bucket at home, so that was one less thing on my shopping list. I figured that I'd get a sponge, some detergent, and that would be it. A bottle of Armor All was on sale for $3, so that was a no brainer. As for the sponges, I did not walk out with what I had expected to buy. I thought that a nice big sponge would work, but there was an entire wall of microfiber and chenile towels, mitts, and mops of different shapes and sizes. I ended up spending a little bit more on the sponge--$12 for a Vroom chenile wash mop with a detachable extension pole. The mop had soft, fuzzy tubes of gray fibers sticking out of it.

Just my luck, the elevator in my apartment building decided to take an unscheduled break on the only day I had to wash my car; I had to try to complete the job with as little water as possible. The first trip down 4 flights of stairs did not go smoothly--about a quarter of the bucket sloshed on my clothes on my way down. Good thing enough of the water made it down stairs for the initial rinse. In that regard, the wash mop turned out to be well worth it. Since the sponge absorbed a lot of water, I did not have to constantly dip it back into the bucket or worry that I would not have a big enough stream of water to wash off the dirt. Also, one of my biggest concerns was being able to reach the roof of the car, especially now that I do not have the benefit of a spraying garden hose. The extension pole made that fear a non-issue, and I was thrilled with the way the mop swiveled to the contours of the car. I was starting to get a little too excited about the prospect of being able to wash my car to a sleek shine. Fortunately, there was a drain in the garage, so my enthusiasm wasn't dampened by a trek back upstairs with the initial dirty rinse.

The second bucket of water was the soap rinse. This time, I was a little wiser and filled the bucket with less water, leaving enough room for potential sloshage. It worked. The mop again performed wonders in terms of slathering the car with enough of the soapy solution such that it could actually be deemed "washed." The little fibers also did quite well in reaching the nooks and crannies, including the holes in the hubcap.

The third bucket of water was enough to rinse off all the soap. I used a standard squeegee to dry off the windows, and a soft old t-shirt to dab off whatever water still stuck to the car. The whole process took an hour (probably would have been quicker if the elevator was working), and I was quite proud of the wash job. Having done this once, the next time won't be so intimidating. I think I should go back to Target to pick up some microfiber towels for drying, since I only have so many old soft t-shirts that no longer want to wear, and I should get another mop for my parents so that they'll have an easier time washing their cars.

Off the Cuff

It feels like I haven't blogged for ages. Life just got rather busy, with weddings, visiting friends and family, and mundane everyday chores in general. I'm still around, though, and posting will go on until the day I decide to quit doing this for good.

Based on what I've seen on street-style blogs, a popular trend that has existed for some time is the cuffing of the pant leg. Little things like cuffing can work quite well in giving outfits a different "mood." I still can't pull off the cuffed pants look all that well (I think it requires more voluminous pants and some intentional pegging), but this is a good illustration of what cuffing does.

I'm not a polo shirt person, but I was given one to wear for an bowling event, so I wanted to dress it up into something more in tune with my personality. I cuffed the sleeves of the blazer to for a "relaxed professional" look earlier in the day, and when it was time to play, I cuffed the jeans to look more casual. The latter looked a lot better without the jacket on, that's for sure, but it goes to show how cuffing the jacket makes a huge difference...

[Nike polo shirt, a $1 3-rhinestone necklace, F21 dome ring, thrifted Brioni blazer, Earnest Sewn straightlegged jeans, Nike sneakers.]