River, carry all our dreams to sea...
This is our favorite new spot for leisurely walks through the neighborhood.
It appears to have been just built with the nearby Perkins School for the Blind in mind, which is wonderful. There are lovely new benches set away from an enormous playground and nowhere else can you find such a friendly, pebble-strewn slope right to the water, with geese and ducks floating by.
There's loads of little details in the construction and features that seem geared toward tactile exercises in nature, so it's fun for little ones and big kids who are young at heart who happen by, like we did!
Goddess bless the El Nino, y'all! Our winter has been bafflingly mild. I'm just sorry the rain has abated (or in some, cases, never quite arrived) out west, but if you're there, you should think about taking the time to go see the wildflower super bloom in Death Valley! It looks incredible. And watch that video, it's SO NICE. Do you know what will always get me misty-eyed? Wonder, mine or anyone else's. That ranger's voice is bursting with it and I'm all choked up just watching. Also, it made me want to hop in a car and drive out there right now!
All our snow has melted away and I keep having to stop myself from leaping into action with a trip to the nursery to brighten the gardens. Spring is already hitting the stores and Valentine's Day just blew right past us! In a record-breaking spell of cold, it was -30 here on February 14th, so we hid under blankets, binge-watched The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt all day and ate our own body weight in See's Candies and Sugarfina treats, family-style. I am very predictably addicted to their champagne gummy bears, made in Germany with actual Dom Pérignon, but give mad props to the Cuba Libre, too.
It was still too fresh and awful to get into here when I last posted, but if you follow me on social media, chances are you saw that we lost one of our beloved pets last month, just shy of his fourteenth year. It was excruciating.
Chipotle was still a young buck when M & I met. She'd gotten him from a cattle dog rescue and of course I had the petite so we were an instant family of four — then five with Birdie, and six in 2012 when we moved to Boston and I scooped up Gunny from a local farm, allergies be damned. It was a miracle we all made it through his long life unscathed, because Chipotle's prey and harding drives (he was part border collie, too) were no joke. He didn't have the nickname "Liability Puppy" for nothing! But he was incredibly gentle when it came to an eight-year-old girl or a baby puppy or orphaned kitten much too big for his britches, and he tirelessly (and I mean tirelessly) guarded every one of us with his all. Now it's much too quiet with our great protector finally at peace.
The heart fights it hard, but day by day we get a little more used to being only five. We miss him. Bird was always more of a Cowardly Lion and frequently forgets how to dog without an alpha around. Neither of us has had to make such a tough call before, but it was the right thing. We only managed losing the dingo with the fierce love and support and wisdom of good friends and family, especially ones who knew exactly what we were going through, and a skilled and compassionate vet. She and her entire staff sent us a beautiful handwritten card awhile back, signed by every single person there. It was such a touching and thoughtful gesture.
It was almost a relief to have to tend to more ordinary, routine things like getting our taxes filed in order to properly apply to FAFSA and CSS for the kiddo (we are an alarming 106 days out from graduation, oh my god), dealing with everything in our kitchen breaking nearly all at once (dryer, dishwasher, microwave and right before a houseguest), having the petite home for midwinter break. Those things end up being almost like life rafts when you're grieving, don't they?
There was also really, really great news that came earlier this month, which I'll be sharing in another post — but the cat's already out of the bag, so you may have caught it elsewhere. Still, I'm excited to talk about it more here.
SXSW x FFAF
I'm so honored and excited to be there alongside fellow femme (and organizer of the entire panel), Anita Dolce Vita of dapperQ, as well as Sonny Oram of Qwear and Leon Wu of Sharpe Suiting. In addition to the panel, there's an official afterparty and you're all invited, so if you're nearby and/or attending SXSW and want to mingle with fellow stylish queers, RSVP here.
I would love love love all your Austin and SXSW tips and must-sees or dos, and I would especially love to know what you'd like to have conveyed from a femme perspective at the festival, since the panel is geared toward showing our audience how to succeed in a growing queer style market and FFAF is the only voice up there devoted exclusively to femmes. What is it that we need the most from a market that all too often leaves femmes out of the queer style equation? It's not an easy question!
How about outfit details? This is such an easy go-to casual outfit: cool top, high-waisted black skinnies, go-anywhere booties, and a cape to top it all off. Maybe your cape is a leather moto or a trench or a blazer, but it's the same no-brainer formula. My only regret is not wearing a belt, but I need something simple and black and not-skinny with a not-silver buckle (Dear Everlane...).
I'd wear this to brunch, running errands and then out to a low-key show at a grungy club at night (maybe whipping hair into a messy bun and switching to a killer red lip) and be perfectly comfortable from morning well past sundown.
Cape — Zara
Top — Nordstrom
Rockstar Skinny Jeans — Old Navy
Booties — Dolce Vita
Necklace — Mariele Ivy
'Lake' Nail Polish — Zoya
Yesterday I posted a really casual snap on Insta; post-barre in capri workout pants, a ponytail, New Balance sneakers, a flannel tied around my waist with a leather jacket thrown over the whole thing, and it was a first for me. I don't do that! It was weird, a little liberating, but definitely not going to become a habit.