Tuesday, July 28, 2009

When the Summer Comes.

Despite all those words I spent aching for summer, I think it's here and I'm a little bit hot. It's been really humid for a few days, but beggars can't be choosers, so I'm attempting to make the best of it! Sadly, work and all sorts of other activities like banks and post offices make lounging around the pool a rarity!

I finally altered that second dress, with the help of my mother by sewing some inserts into the sides so I could have some breathing room. This dress has easily become one of my favorites, even though I keep myself from wearing it every day. Long dresses allow a kind of weird freedom that I find is lacking in their mini compatriots. It might just be this one though, that allows for sitting in any position because of it's multitude of fabric in the skirts.

Most of the time though, being in the humidity makes me do this:

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Things of Happiness: Second Breakfast.

When the girl returned, some hours later, she carried a tray, with a cup of fragrant tea steaming on it; and a plate piled up with very hot buttered toast, cut thick, very brown on both sides, with the butter running through the holes in great golden drops, like honey from the honeycomb. The smell of that buttered toast simply talked to Toad, and with no uncertain voice; talked of warm kitchens, of breakfasts on bright frosty mornings, of cosy parlour firesides on winter evenings, when one's ramble was over and slippered feet were propped on the fender, of the purring of contented cats, and the twitter of sleepy canaries.
-Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows

This is going to have very little to do with clothing--but seeing as we have to eat to live in order to wear clothes, it fits in a very broad and stretchy kind of way.

I love breakfast. More specifically I love second breakfast--Hobbit style--or brunch. I have hard time eating first thing in the morning so I usually have a cup of tea and a piece of candy (oops!) first, then real breakfast an hour or so later.

Rose-bouquet tea, summer fruit tart from work, chocolate disks.

Nutella croissant from work, regular old black tea.

Soft-boiled egg, toast soldiers with butter, rose-bouquet tea (I think, I drink it a lot).

French peasant bread (toasted), orange juice, Mariage Freres 'Eros' tea.

Tea of some kind, corn muffins with butter and raspberry jelly.

Waffles made from scratch, breakfast sausage, grapefruit slices, Summertime Blue tea.

I love taking pictures of food, especially breakfast. And something about the late morning meal reminds me of Victorian things, inexplicably, and a memory of eating corn muffins next to the pachysandra one summer at a little table in the midst of The Secret Garden obsession.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Romantic Summer Hair.

I wish I had thought up something more poetic and glib for the title there, but I've just surfaced from the pool and am shriveling inside at the to-do list that's tallying up in my head. Summer hair is difficult. If you have a lot of hair it doesn't cooperate--it frizzes and curls up, or if you're like me and desperately attempt to coax your strands into curls, it falls straight and does nothing. It sticks to your neck and the sides of your face. Ponytails, refreshing and clean, get boring fast.

Braids are a solution, but it's hard to get them right! Is it harder with thick hair? I feel as though it is. Instead of delicate, winsome braids, I end up with thick sturdy things that could certainly (with some growth) serve as a proper rope into an upstairs window.

I think I've figured it out though. I still curl my hair, since that way it's alright if an end pokes out here or there because then it's a little pretty curl. These pictures are from second-day hair--I found it came out much better the day before, it was a little flat to work with the following day--but it makes me happy. I'm very low-maintenance with my hair. I cheat with pincurls (I curl the hair first and just pin the existing curl to my head), and if I can't manifest an up-do in less than 5 minutes it just isn't worth it.

My process for this is as follows:

1.) Curl hair. I like curlers, because they give you a loser, more romantic curl (I use tinier ones though, since big curlers don't give much shape).
2.) Place headband in hair. This is important, because I want it to help with the shape of the hair as it wraps around the head. I stick it in the middle so that hair hangs down in front of it.
3.) Being two messy French braids, low on the head just behind your ear. I'm talking really messy. Totally loose and not even. Braid to about half the way down your hair.
4.) Pin one braid so it doesn't unravel, and work on the second. When both are finished, just kind of grab them and twirl them together into a loose bun. Think, generally, that you want a chignon kind of look, or a bun, and just move the hair around until you estimate it looks like that. Bobby pin the crap out of it. Don't look at in the mirror till you're done, or you'll fuss over it too much and it won't look careless and breathy. Or something.

I feel odd talking about this sort of thing with any authority, but there you go. I've worn my hair like this for 4 days in a row, and it just makes my life. It hasn't been really hot here, so I guess that would be the real test, but it's working for me at the moment.

(Pictures taken by Mom.)