Copy cat style: Ashley of Southern California Belle

by thedemuremuse on July 31, 2015

Happy Friday everyone!! Can you believe it’s already the last day of July?! Isn’t it insane how quickly this year is flying by! Ooph… only 5 months to go before the end of the year.

I’m trying something a little different today. I’ve been loving Ashley’s style evolution over the last few months. Do you guys follow her over at Southern California Belle? (If you don’t, you totally should! She’s super sweet and her family – including all of the chihuahua boys – is so adorable.) Ashley’s pinup girl style is beautifully refined and I love how effortless she makes all of it seem. Her style is pretty far off to the opposite end of the spectrum of mine, but with recent closet cleaning happening, I uncovered a few pieces that I thought would be fun to try to style in an Ashley-inspired way.

pinup girl inspired fashion

(Photo from Ashley’s Sparkling Seas post)

Gosh, she is just so gorgeous!! Although I don’t think I could pull off her style on a daily basis, I really had a lot of fun twirling in this skirt and the little tie headband (which I’ll admit that I wear a lot whenever I’m at home and doing chores because it makes me feel classy). Thanks for the style inspiration, Ashley!

white lace a-line skirt
outfit details:
blouse & skirt: H&M (similar)
peep toe wedges: Franco Sarto (similar)
headband: ModCloth
sunglasses: c/o Moorea Seal (exact)

If you’re looking for options for a fit & flare lace skirt, here are some similar ones:

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REVIEW: Simplism iPhone wallet clutch

by thedemuremuse on July 29, 2015

I’m super excited to be partnered with Simplism again today to do a review of their iPhone wallet clutch! I originally was introduced to Simplism with their flip note case (which I reviewed last month here), and am so excited about their new line of clutch wallets that allow for more card holder slots!

simplism iphone clutch
simplism iphone clutch wallet

I almost exclusively tote around a backpack to work, which means having all my belongings swimming together in one big compartment. Trying to find a wallet (I usually carry a slim card holder) or my phone is a bit of a challenge. I keep my keys in the little zippered pocket and try to keep my phone separate so that the screen doesn’t get scratched. Having a slightly bigger clutch than the flip note case has been a saving grace when trying to dig out a credit card or my phone in a hurry.

simplism iphone clutch wallet open

This clutch is technically supposed to be for an iPhone 6, but I haven’t had an issue using it with my 5s. The capacitive touch-friendly phone slip allows me to still use my phone and interact with it without having to slide it out of the sleeve. Having double the amount of card slots than the flip note that I originally used has also been awesome because I don’t have to sacrifice leaving behind cards whenever I’m heading out and trying to decided which cards I’ll need for the whole day.

One feature that I didn’t show in the photos in this post is the charging cable storage tab. There’s a little button tab at the bottom of the clutch that’s used for holding on to the charging cable. I think this is genius, especially on days that I take the clutch in my backpack to work in coffee shops. Having all of my phone-related essentials attached to one single piece is really convenient and doesn’t make me look like a goon when I’m trying to find something in my backpack.

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Finding replacements for longtime favourites

by thedemuremuse on July 27, 2015

I’ve come to accept the fact that one day, not to long from now, my beloved Hinge caged booties are going to fall apart and no longer be wearable. It’s probably a mix of wearing them in thunderstorms, biking in them and using the heel to stop abruptly a few more times than I should’ve, and also wearing them almost every day consecutively for the last few months that is leading them to their death bed early. Whatever the reason is, I knew I had to start hunting for a replacement pair of booties before the Hinge ones go kaput.

anthropologie bow cropped pants
outfit details:
cocoon sweater: Community via Aritzia
tank top: Forever 21
bow cropped pants: Anthropologie (on sale now)
Haywire cutout booties: Seychelles (also on sale)
gold bar necklace: c/o Moorea Seal (exact)
earring cuff set: c/o Bling Jewelry (exact)
vintage Coach purse: thrifted via Goodwill (similar)

Seychelles Haywire cutout booties in black
I’m a big fan of shopping off season because of the fact that the deal are usually much better than during the season itself. This often means getting last season’s inventory, but does that really matter? When the style of the piece is similar enough and you’re getting a huge 60% for not buying the latest season’s updated style, it seems like a win-win to me! These Seychelles Haywire booties were on massive sale and I loved the similarity in the style so much when compared to the Hinge booties (slightly pointed toe, chunky low heel, lots of straps but has a zipper back), so I pulled the trigger and added them to my closet. There will most likely be an updated version of these booties for the upcoming season, but I am not looking to shell out $120+ for a new pair of black heels so I was more than happy to compromise on this pair. To be honest, compromise is the wrong word to use here because I love these boots regardless!

bling jewelry mod vibes earring cuff

Boots aside, I’m trying to play up my undercut as much as possible these days. I’ve been getting this little patch trimmed every week to week and a half for the last two months and while it’s been awesome to have, it’s a bit of a pain to maintain. Since I don’t do the upkeep myself (I don’t even want to think about all the ways I could ruin this haircut trying to do it myself… might have a reverse mohawk by the end of it haha), I’ve been going to the salon to get it cleaned up. I think I just had my final clean up this week, so let the growing out phase begin!

Before it grows out entirely, I’m having a lot of fun playing with louder jewelry that compliments the existing piercings before my hair hides them during the awkward grow-out phase. Back in the day, I really wanted a cartilage piercing and opted for the rook instead. I’ve been loving all of the cuffs and linked earrings (this one on etsy, specifically) and am having a really good time with this cuff style earring from Bling Jewelry. It gives an awesome illusion without having to punch another hole.

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Wrap me in your cocoon

by thedemuremuse on July 21, 2015

Have you ever seen that person walking to work wearing a sweater in 30C (90F) weather and thought, “What on earth are they doing?!?!” That’s me. The person in the sweater. And also thinking the same thoughts… while in the sweater. No doubt, I’m sweating my buns off but if I don’t have a sweater on, I’ll be freezing as soon as I get into the office.

Community Iconic Cape
outfit details:
cocoon sweater: Community via Aritzia (similar)
v-neck tee: Aeropostale
pencil skirt: Forever 21 (similar)
caged booties: Hinge via Nordstrom

In trying to keep up with figuring out how to stretch my wardrobe across seasons, I attempted a summer take on this outfit from March. I was really lucky with this Community sweater. One of my friends recently moved to NYC and before leaving, she did a big closet purge and let a handful of us shop her pieces. I’ve had Community sweaters on my wishlist for quite some time but couldn’t justify the price tag. I absolutely love the quality and fit of this piece and still can’t imagine how great of a deal my friend gave it to me for (it was still new with tags)!

P.S. Check out the dork in the photo below. How about that cheesy smile, eh? My hair is also starting to show its personality a little more than usual. Any tips on how to tame uncooperative waves?

Aritzia Community cocoon sweater

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Recap: Seattle to Portland by bike (Part 2)

by thedemuremuse on July 20, 2015

Hope you all had an awesome weekend! I didn’t think this would happen, but I hopped back on my bike less than a week after STP. The soreness in my legs was pretty much non-existent after Wednesday of last week, so it felt good to get back on the bike a few days after that! :)

If you read the STP day 1 recap, there’s a whole extra 100 miles that haven’t yet been covered in the recap. Day 2 of STP started off bright and early at 4:30am. The goal was to be back on the road by 6am, so we woke up at 4:30, cleaned up, packed up our tents, and threw our backpacks onto the truck, and sat down for a full breakfast. The same folks who had put together dinner the previous night woke up at 4am to start prepping plates full of pancakes, sausage patties, and scrambled eggs.

We were back on our bikes just before 6am and headed out full speed ahead! After day 1, my right hip was hurting quite a bit (I’m guessing it was from continuously clipping in/out of my pedals) so I had to take a couple ibuprofen pills before jumping back on. The pain induced from the constant riding was not exactly something I had even considered when signing up for STP, but I knew I would only have to tough it out for a few hours before the finish line. And by a few, I mean 9. haha!

Here’s the scenery from the halfway point of day 2:

stp 150miles

Beautiful bikes littered all over the (dried out) grass as we all raced to the food and water refill tents. Looking back at these photos, I’m amazed that I didn’t lose my bike. Imagine trying to navigate through 12,000 riders and bikes that start to look the same after you’re delirious from little sleep…

Day 2 was full of fun road challenges! I took way less photos on the second day since there were long stretches of rolling hills that made me a bit grumpy. haha! I know this ride isn’t supposed to be a walk in the park, but I also didn’t think the trail would be 20 miles of oscillating hill climbing! A really fun challenge, but also one that made me super tired and not want to take my phone out of my pockets.

One of the most interesting things to witness was the logistics behind directing traffic. There were police officers helping to push the sea of cyclists through lights and major intersections. In the photo below, a few hundred of us are waiting to get onto the Portland Lewis and Clark bridge. Having just missed the last pack of riders on the bridge, I was at the front of the line for the next batch. We baked in the sun for about 20 minutes, waiting for a few hundred more riders to join us before we were allowed, as a group, to stop car traffic and get on the bridge as a single unit.


Looking back on this whole experience, I am so grateful for the love and support from my friends who had to put up with a lot of my whining during the training days leading up to the ride. I whined A LOT whenever there were hills, or when we’d ride for longer than 50 miles in the heat. In retrospect, they whipped my butt into shape and made STP a lot more enjoyable than it could’ve been had they been easier on me in training.

Long story short: YAY! 206 miles later and we made it to Portland safe & sound.

Quick stats from the trip
Total distance traveled: 206 miles
Average speed: 14.975 mph
Average break time: 20 minutes every 20-25 miles
Ibuprofen pills taken: 8
# plates of pasta consumed: 3
# cake slices consumed: 2
# bottles of water consumed: 6/day
Total riding time: 14h 20m

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