Friday, April 30, 2010

Death by French 75

Yesterday I went out for a couple of cocktails with two of my most favorite people.  I knew I wanted a French 75 and I planned to look great drinking it.  I dressed in houndstooth, pearls, and spectators.  It was a great night, but I had too many and woke up bemoaning my lack of restraint.

Today, I look like crap, but by now I actually feel pretty decent.

sources: sweater, pants, shoes, socks

I'm comfortable, so I don't care that I may be slightly frumpy. I have my cup of coffee, my ipod, and a good attitude.  This evening I'm going to pay for what I've done with a nice long walk and eat a salad.  It'll be a great Friday night.  

Life is good.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I Just Wanna Say...

I'm getting very excited about an upcoming romantic weekend in May with my man.  We have so little time to just spend together, no one else around, no distractions... we need this.

It's going to be a weekend of drinking wine, eating great food, ignoring our cell phones, having no agenda, and just being together.

He doesn't hear this often enough (and I happen to know he reads my blog): I love you like crazy.  Even if you ate too much garlic the night before and smelled like an Italian restaurant all day, I'd still want to kiss you.  I love the way my hand fits yours and how it feels to be in your arms.  Can't wait to shut out the rest of the world with you.  I'm counting down the days.


Let me just say, I'm fully aware that today's ensemble is overcompensating for yesterday on a couple of levels.  For one, I was definitely chilly yesterday, so today I donned layers and my wool trousers.  (Yes, I realize it's spring.)  Secondly, I felt a little under-dressed for a professional office in my plaid bermuda shorts, even with heels.  Today I busted out the party shirt, my glam necklace, and one of my favorite pairs of shoes: stiletto spectators.  It's over the top, but since I paired it with my most conservative blazer, I think the menswear aspect takes the glitz to an appropriate level.  I'm just going to go with it.

Monday, April 26, 2010

It Is NOT Shorts Weather, Team.

My outfit is actually this color scheme:

Ok I thought today was going to be sunny ALL day, and not just in the morning.  I got out my spring plaid shorts ensemble and scooted out the door.  Let me tell ya: I'm freezing, folks!  Tonight after work I'm going straight home, putting on my sweats, doing some yoga, and heating up some soup.

If My Girlfriends Were Shoes: Sabina Edition

Sabina is a strong sexy woman.  She blazes her own path and looks hot every step of the way.  Architect, artist, and new wife, she's a renaissance woman and gets the naughty housewife nod for shoes.

If My Girlfriends Were Shoes: Koriann Edition

Koriann is bright and fun.  If she were s shoe, she'd be these adorable turquoise peeptoe slingbacks with a bow.  She's a classic design with a sweet feminine flourish.  Whether it's at the office, a garden party, or a night with the girls, she'll be there fresh faced with a treat in hand.

Friday, April 23, 2010

If My Girlfriends Were Shoes: Michela Edition

Michela is a busy lady.  She doesn't have extra time to go home and change for each facet of the day, so when she leaves the house in the morning, she's dressed to sway your vote, then drop in on an MBA networking event, followed by a fundraiser gala.  And that's a light day.

If My Girlfriends Were Shoes: Anika Edition

Anika takes it to the edge.  She knows when to push the fashion envelope just a little bit and how make it work.  She has the proverbial balls to pack up and leave the country just to do it, but she also understands the value of friends, family and a place to call home.  Ani, you rock.

If My Girlfriends Were Shoes: Kate Edition

Kate is perpetual sunshine.  Always classy in a dressed up casual sort of way, if she were a shoe, it would be this gladiator sandal taken up a notch.  I love the mix of greens on this shoe; it's so fresh and fun... like Kate.

If My Girlfriends Were Shoes: Abby Edition

Abby reminds me of the flirty 1950s.  If she were a shoe, she'd be this sassy little red number.  She'll bake you a cake and then head out for cocktails and salsa dancing. Cha cha cha.

Spring in Seattle!

It officially feels like spring in Seattle.  I took the opportunity to dress accordingly.  Inspired by last weekend's visit to the tulip fields, I chose my brightest of pink shirts with a little girly detail at the neckline to wear with my never-fail gray slacks.  I couldn't resist my ruffled peeptoes, simply because my toenails match my shirt.

It's not exactly cocktails on the dock weather this week, but I'm enjoying it nonetheless.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Finding My Way In Fashion

A few years ago I realized I had terrible fashion sense.  Terrible.  In fact, I sent an urgent email out to my peers at the office describing my plight and asking for some style advice.  They all thought was hilarious, but I was serious.  I tried to dig it up out of the email archives so you'd be able to read the transcript, but alas, it's lost in the abyss.  Here's a paraphrase:

I need your help.  I just got a call from the 1990s and they want their pants back.  Every pair.  Right out of my closet.  Furthermore, every time I try to dress trendy or edgy, it ends in an uncomfortable frumpy disaster.  To ensure this daily fashion travesty goes on no longer, I need some tips and some serious weeding out of my wardrobe.  Please come to my rescue!  I beg of you!
I got a lot of polite responses that basically said, "Oh really?  I've never noticed you looking frumpy or 90s."  Puh-lease.  We all know that was not true.  You ladies were just too damn nice to tell me like it is.  I know what frumpy looks like.  I can't tell you how many times someone has said, "Hey Monica- this thing reminds me of you!" or "I saw this and immediately had to get it for you - it's just so you!" only to have it be depressingly out of date and/or dumpy.  I felt like Lola in Kinky Boots when Charlie presents her with a pair of  low-heeled burgundy boots.  She says:
Burgundy. Please, God, tell me I have not inspired something burgundy. Red. Red. *Red*. *Red*, Charlie boy. *Red*! Is the color of sex! Burgundy is the color of hot water bottles! Red is the color of sex and fear and danger and signs that say, Do. Not. Enter. All my favorite things in life. 

That's pretty much my inner reaction too.  It's happened more than once, so I can only imagine that there was something about my style that was sending this message.  In the last two years I have taken some serious measures to refine my wardrobe to an acceptable collection.  It started with an $800 trip to Banana Republic where I bought some classic items of decent quality (including the trousers I'm wearing today).  I also "came to Jesus" about my inability to pull off anything trendy (no, Monica, it just won't work), and came up with my fashion mantra: If I time traveled to 1962 today, could I fit in?  The answer must always be yes.  I have also realized that if I wear a heel, which I do pretty much every day, it must be a stiletto - 3.5" or higher.  This may sound crazy to some, but if I get the right shoe, a 4" stiletto can actually be more comfortable to wear all day than a pair of flats.  Maybe that's just me.

My favorite shoe of all time is the Nine West Rocha Pump.  This shoe is amazing.  It's classic, sexy, and comfortable.  Seriously!  The slight platform gives the shoe support, and the inside is slightly padded, so it feels as though it's cradling my foot.
I currently have it in a dark brown snakeskin look, but I'd buy it in every color if I could afford it.  It is hands down the best shoe I've ever owned.  No contest.  If I could write a feel-good musical about this shoe, I would.  I'd take it straight to Broadway.

Speaking of shoes, I have a new obsession:  ShoeDazzle.  It's Kim Kardashian's online shoe club.  I want in.  So do you.  I can see it in that hungry look you have in your eyes.


Guess what. 

They've thought of everything.  You can give it as gifts to the ladies you love.  I've just done your birthday/Christmas shopping for you. I know of several inner circle girls who might get a visit from Monica the shoe fairy on her birthday this year.  Just sayin'.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

DBC Weekend

What a weekend!  It was DBC-tastic.  Kate, our San Francisco outfit, was in town Thurs night through Sunday evening for some quilty fun, but we didn't limit it to just sewing.  We spent all day Saturday up in the Skagit Valley with the Seattle moms enjoying the annual Tulip Festival.  I thought I'd take you on a little floral parade through the highlights...

...and of course a group photo of the DBC members.  Poor Kate and Abby were trying to stay as dry as possible. I, on the other hand, felt invincible in my rain jacket and boots.

What DBC reunion would be complete without a fabric store excursion.  We visited The Quilting Loft and Fabric Crush where we picked up some beauts.  Here's my loot:

Sunday was absolutely gorgeous, so we spent the morning photographing our finished quilts to be uploaded onto our etsy shop.  We still have to edit down, but here's a sneak preview of our hard work:

That's Kate looking positively nautical on our dock.  She's such a great quilt model.  A couple of hours later we relaxed on that same dock with barbecued chicken and a few Mexican bottled beers.  The sunburn on my shoulders was totally worth it.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Feeling Quilty About Not Guilting... Wait...

I've been working on some things...

Finished the top of my latest baby quilt, and it's currently our art piece on the "dining room" wall.  I really like how it's turning out.


Then I got out this old project and started pinning it so I can quilt it and be done with it already.  It's three vertical panels with random pieces, a geisha in each, and some koi applique.

I feel neutral on this one.  I love all the fabrics, but I'm not in love with the design.  This'll go on our website for sale unless my brother claims it.

Monday, April 12, 2010

How Do You Feel About Eggplant?

I really love it, but very few people in my life feel the same way.  I recently came across a recipe for Eggplant Parmesan that suggests roasting the slices (after salting, draining, and rinsing them, of course) before wrapping them around cheese, setting them in tomato sauce and topping them with more cheese.  I've never heard of the pre-roasting technique, and I'm wondering if I could get the naysayers in my life to give eggplant a whirl by cooking it this way.

Do you love eggplant?  Hate it?  Willing to be an adventuresome eater?

I'm going to try this, minus mint, plus basil.

Friday, April 9, 2010

On Deck for Tonight

Tonight is ladies night, party of two.  I'm kicking out the man so he can go do manly things like rock climb or drink beers out of cans while my bff comes over for a culinary masterpiece.

We're going to start out with a 3/4 full bottle of chilled Tomero white, paired with Pirate's Booty, which we will follow with a second course of a half drank bottle of Columbia Winery Merlot, which I've been saving for this special occasion.  From there I'm going to make shakshuka, inspired by Deb and her irresistible blog, and serve it with a previously sampled bottle of Malbec. 

Things might get a little goofy - see above picture, but replace red keg cup with classy wine glass.  Pictured ladies will not be substituted with classier versions.  Doesn't it look like that blond girl is singing happy birthday?  She's not.  She's actually at a garden party celebrating no one's birthday.

In other news, I went on a tour of the Theo chocolate factory last night and ate nothing but chocolate for dinner.  And red wine.  It was amazing.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

More Quilting (2 Projects)

I just wanted to show you a little more of my progress.  I got this sucker quilted...

I got the binding attached....

...and I started to finish it.  The fabric for this binding makes me so happy.  I just love it.  But that's not all I've  been working on.

I've listed them here from most favorite (at the top) to least favorite, but I think they'll all look fabulous together in a quilt.

My idea is to make blocks like these where I inverse the fabrics, so the thinner part will be a printed fabric and the thicker ones will be white.

I hope to have it done before DBC gets together mid-month.  That's a pretty lofty goal, though, considering how slowly I move on quilts.

I'm loving it so far!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

I've Moved.

I've decided my former blog name, Cherry Schmerry, was  lame  not really the feeling I'm going for.  So, I changed.  I'm moving forward.  Welcome to Anchor & Sail.  The content will be relatively the same:  chronicles of my various creative outlets and musings.  I know there are other folks out there like me - you maintain an office job to pay the bills, but harbor a deep desire to be creative in more than just one way.  You cook, you take long walks, you craft, you drink wine, you pore over design blogs for inspiration, and you don't let your job define who you are.  This blog is for you... and me.

So what's in a name?  I wanted to reference something that was deeply personal to me, but also something that other people could relate to.  This is not a sailing blog, though I do know how to sail and I love to do it.  The new blog name comes from my fond childhood memories of our family taking our 27-foot circa1970 Coronado, the Sunseeker, up to the San Juan Islands each summer for salt air camping trips.  We'd glide from island to island where we would hike, run along the beach, set crab pots in the bay, and catch shrimp off the dock.  It was the perfect way to spend a summer in the Pacific Northwest. 

view from Lopez Island, near ferry dock

I still make it up to the islands at least once a year, though I take a ferry these days.  It's a beautiful ride, but nothing could compare to the trip made on the Sunseeker.  Maybe someday I'll have my own.  In the meantime, the memories will be my anchor and sail.

Thanks for coming with me.

Friday, April 2, 2010


sources: dress, shoes, pendant

Today I decided to feature my favorite pendant of all time.  It was a valentine's day gift a few years ago and to this day, no piece of jewelry brings me as much joy as this pendant does.  Want one?  Visit Adorn Jewelry online.  You'll be glad you did.

Does This Work for You?

This is what I put together yesterday.  Is it working for you?  I can't decide.