Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Bean Boots vs. Sorels: WHY NOT BOTH

 Turns out L.L. Bean has snow boots that look almost exactly like the Sorel Caribous, without the ugly logo.  The clomp factor is definitely there, but that just ensures that you stay upright.  They are basically the perfect Bean-Sorel hybrid.  Plus, they are $30 cheaper.  Sold.  

I also learned that you can use something called AquaSeal to a patch a hole in rubber boots, so I am going to try to get my old Sorels through another winter.  This means that I can keep a pair by both the front and back doors... i.e. the absolute pinnacle of luxury in Minnesota.   No sloshy boot prints on the floor, always a warm pair at the ready.  I'm living proof you can have it all!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

My Living Room, in Lists

The Good 
Beautiful moldings, leaded glass windows, built-in shelves, and fireplace
The chrome coffee table and brass accessories
Loveseat from Home Depot (Cheap, kinda pleathery, but a perfect solution for a temporary space)
New marbleized lamps 

The Bad
The light- even though there are windows everywhere and a sunroom, we face east, so it is dim most of the day.
The light grey non-color on the walls.
The mantle styling.  Bad.  Just threw whatever I could find up there.
The art- love the black & white Kevin Russ print, but you can barely see it with the reflection from the hanging lamp.
Which reminds me- the hanging lamp.  I think it is some sort of historic reproduction.  Ugh. 

To Do
Reupholster the chairs flanking the fireplace.  Linen or maybe a velvet cotton.
Rearrange the art.
Plants on the shelves on either side of the fireplace mantle?  I need something less visually cluttered there.
Pillow and a throw for the loveseat.
A mirror over the mantle to bounce more of the light around.
Learn how to take better photos because oh my god these are terrible.  Sorry.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Bean Boots vs. Sorels: A Rivalry for the Ages

The coat situation is still unresolved, but we had our first snow in Minneapolis and with it came the discovery that my Sorel boots have a hole in the heel.  Just as I was starting my search for a new pair of snow boots, my friend Amanda emailed me asking the same question I was asking myself: L.L. Bean Boots or Sorel Caribous?   I've had both, so I believe that I am in a good position to pick a winner.  But I can't!  Both lasted me two full winters, were super comfy, and kept my feet nice and warm.  Clearly, this is just one of those tough personal choices we all have to make.   

To aid in your decision-making, I've produced the following chart: 

I think I'm going Bean boot this time, if I can find a black pair (they seem to be sold out on the website).  

Have you already made your choice?  Please weigh in.  

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Coats That Are Absolutely Not Gonna Cut It In Minnesota

Faced with my first Minnesota winter, I have been shopping for a serious, real-deal winter coat.  I know that vanity has no place in a Minnesota winter.  Grown adults here regularly wear mittens because they are slightly warmer than gloves.  But it is tough to get excited about spending several hundred dollars on a glorified sleeping bag... especially when compared with all the gorgeous light jackets out there masquerading as real winter coats.  I mean, they may look like winter coats, but we all know that these are never going to keep me warm when it is below zero (for 17 days in a row!!!):

1 - 2 - 3

4 - 5

6 - 7 - 8

They just look so gooood.

Does anyone have any suggestions?  I tried on a Canada Goose and wasn't all that impressed -- admittedly, this was within the comforts of a Nordstrom, so I cannot say definitively how it would perform out in the field -- but overall it seemed more fashion than function.  Is there even an attractive, heavy duty warmth option out there?  Or should I just give in and buy the sensible sleeping bag?

Sunday, October 26, 2014

PSA: Serial (the Podcast)

This is a quick Public Service Announcement to say that if you are not already listening to "Serial"... YOU NEED TO BE LISTENING TO "SERIAL": 

 The basic premise - was justice really served? - is obviously fascinating.  I change my opinion of the case with every episode.  But I think the personal elements are what really make it so compelling - generational conflict, cultural conflict, and forbidden love, mixed in with the occasional hilarious high school drama.  

Episodes come out every Thursday so you have plenty of time to catch up.  Do it!  And if you are already listening... we need to discuss.  

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

What I Wore: Polka Capital of the Nation

This weekend we went to New Ulm, MN to visit Matt's sister and attend their Oktoberfest.  Being the (self-declared) POLKA CAPITAL OF THE NATION, basically every weekend in New Ulm is Oktoberfest.  But apparently this one was the main event.  I decided to give my trusty fall uniform a break and wore my favorite L.L. Bean fisherman sweater instead, along with a similarly toned jacket and t-shirt.  

You might ask: isn't it a little risky to wear a beige jacket, sweater, and t-shirt to an outdoor festival? 

L.L. Bean Signature Fisherman Sweater (size up!)
Uniqlo Striped Linen Blend T-Shirt
Steven Alan Moto Jacket (super old, from eBay)
AG Farrah Jeans (love the fit but have worn out way too fast) 
Vans Leather Sk-8 Hi Slim Sneakers

Answer:  No.  German food is beige (and delicious, I might add).  Beer is beige.   The caramel apple pie I bought on the way was beige.  My hair is so beige that it blends into that beige building.  It was a low contrast, low risk situation (even for me).

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

What I Wore: Basically This Entire Fall

If you see me on a weekend this fall, I'm likely to be wearing the outfit below.  Not a variation of this outfit where I swap out a different sweater or t-shirt... actually this exact outfit.  

See?  I stood out in my yard to prove it.  

Uniqlo Striped Linen Blend T-Shirt (you can't see it, but it is always there.  It hangs out the sides and adds a little something, in my opinion) 
Madewell jeans (old version, not the much-hated new ones) 
Orla Kiely Stem Bag