Monday, July 27, 2015

Weekend Vibe + A Couple Reviews of my Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Picks

Joie 'Quinn' shoes + boyfriend jeans
Top: Urban Outfitters (on sale!) | Denim: ASOS | Shoes: Joie via the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale (#NSale) | Bag: Mansur Gavriel (hint: these are notoriously hard to find, but you can pre-order one at Barney's right now!) | Bracelet: Vintage | Earrings: Nadri via the #NSale

Some of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale picks from my previous post have finally arrived! While not everything is summer-appropriate of course, I thought I'd show you a look with couple pieces that I was able put to work right away and will transition easily into fall, my Joie lace-up sandal-booties and the Nadri Ear Jackets. Remember, the Anniversary Sale is still going on this week, but prices go up on August 3.

Nadri Ear Jacket Nordstrom

I've been looking at earrings in this style (with a back jacket) for a while now, and these pretty Nadri ones really caught my eye while I was browsing the Anniversary Sale. I was delighted to find that they are even prettier in person, and they are light as air on my ears.

I find it difficult to wear heavy earrings for an entire day; these are so light I even forgot to take them out before bed and had no trouble sleeping in them. The jackets have a couple different holes where you can insert the earring, so you can control how low you want them to hang below your ear. The backs are nice and sturdy, so you don't have to worry about them loosening or falling out. I think I'll be wearing these a ton this summer and fall!

2015 Joie Quinn Sandals Norstrom Anniversary Sale Pick

One of my other favorite pieces I ordered from the #NSale? These Joie sandals (booties? a hybrid?). Getting into them takes a little effort, but once they're on, I found them to be very comfortable as long as I left myself plenty of room in the laces. The heel on them is a very walkable stiletto, and the leather is buttery-soft, so no blister issues there. I'm excited to style these in a bunch of different ways--they have so much potential!

Mansur Gavriel Mini Bucket Bag

I wore the look in this post yesterday, which was a very busy Sunday. Because of our work schedules, Sean and I don't get to run many errands during the week, so we jam as many as we can into our weekends. When we stopped to quickly take these photos, we had a car full of groceries, so I decided to grab my bunch of supermarket roses and use it as a prop here.

Casual chic.

This location is another great Denver spot. Behind me you can see the interesting architectural features of the Denver Art Museum, and I'm standing on the promenade between the museum and the Denver Public Library. There are some fascinating pieces of public art around this park--here's a little more info on some of the big pieces if you're interested.

Boyfriend jeans, relaxed cami, lace-up booties

Happy Monday!

x, Tam

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Travel Diary: Rottnest Island, Western Australia

Wandering Rottnest Island
{on me} Top: c/o Triangl | Bottoms: Target

I still have so many pretty photos left from our Australia trip this spring, I thought I'd share a few beachy pics with you today (right in the middle of beach season!). While Sean and I were in Western Australia, we took a ferry from Fremantle out to beautiful Rottnest Island, not too far off the coast from Perth. There are no cars on Rottnest, just buses, some golf carts, and lots of bikes.

Crochet Cover-Up
Dress: Anthropologie (from last summer, last seen here) | Sunglasses: Prada | Hat: Borrowed | Earrings: Gorjana via Rocksbox

Our original plan had been to explore the island by bike, but my hand injury threw a bit of a wrench in the works. We ended up getting bus tickets to ride around the island as much as we pleased, and we ended up having a great time. There are dozens of gorgeous beaches on the island, but we spent quite a bit of time in one little harbor with some beautiful scenery and a deserted beach.

Cove on Rottnest Island

Beach Day Outfit

One of my favorite parts of visiting Australia was seeing all the native animals. On Rottnest Island, they have a darling little marsupial called the quokka, and they are just as sweet, curious, and friendly as they look.

Quokka Friend

It was so hard not to feed them, but we knew it wasn't good for them to have "people food." This definitely didn't stop them from trying to finagle a snack from us. They are almost as good at begging as my little dachshund.

Quokka Encounter Rottnest Island

Hope those sweet little faces help you get through the rest of your week!

x, Tam

Monday, July 20, 2015

Weekend Romp

Topshop Petite Black Jersey Playsuit
Romper: Topshop (love this current version in regular and petite sizing or this strappy one) | Shoes: Splendid | Bag: Valentino | Sunglasses: Valentino | Belt: Madewell | Hat: F21 | Earrings: Gorjana via Rocksbox | Watch: Michael Kors

I love wearing rompers on hot summer days--they're so simple but still look put-together. I wore this breezy one out for a fun brunch at Snooze at Union Station. While we waited for a table, we got to explore the station a bit, sampling the coffee from the Pigtrain Coffee Co. and some cider at the charming Terminal Bar.

Valentino Rockstud Tote & Sunglasses

Michael Kors Ritz Watch

Every time I get to wander around Union Station, I get an urge to take a train trip somewhere. Planes are wonderful, but there's something a little romantic about travel by train. Sean and I have resolved that we'll do a train trip within the U.S. someday since we have enjoyed it so much in Europe.

Bloom at Union Station

They had such pretty bouquets at Bloom that it was hard to resist taking one home. I love a place that can deftly incorporate kale into a chic floral arrangement.

Black Topshop Romper

Earlier this weekend, I stopped by the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale at my local Nordie's to have a look around. After seeing some of the items I have on order in person, I am excited to receive them. Hope you are finding some gems there, too--my picks and favorites are in my last post. The sale is only through August 3, so make sure to check it out this week before prices on sale items go up for the fall.

Have a great week!

x, Tam

Friday, July 17, 2015

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2015 Picks

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is live and open to the public today! This is a great time to start stocking up on fall necessities before cooler temperatures hit. This sale is one of my favorite of the year because you can get discounted, new-season fall items that will be full-price come August 3. I'm sharing some of my favorite pieces from the sale--which is open to the public beginning today, July 17, 2015 at midnight Pacific Time. (All the photos above have clickable links!)

Boots & Booties

After falling hard for rag & bone's Harrow Booties last winter, I decided to order the Margot Booties, a Nordstrom exclusive, based on their similar shape and style. I've also been in the market for a more open lace-up bootie, so I am trying out the Joie 'Quinn' Sandals. I snagged a pair of Joie sandals on discount earlier this summer and have been very pleased with the style and quality of those, so I have my fingers crossed that these will fit what I'm looking for. If I had a little more money to burn, my next pick would be these classic Aquatalia by Marvin K 'Gianna' Boots, which are weatherproofed for those of us in northern climates this fall, winter, and (sadly much of) spring this year.

And since it's still going to be sunshine and warm temperatures for several months, these simple Tory Burch 'Melinda' Sandals will probably come in handy until October arrives. I'm hoping they might work for my upcoming beach trip.


I probably own too many Longchamp Le Pliage/Le Pliage Neo totes, but I use them for absolutely everything. I love this fantastic expandable one that's back in this year's sale after disappearing quickly last year during Early Access. It can be zipped from a medium tote back to a larger tote in a jif, and it folds up nice and neatly and can pack into your other handbag or purse.

This lovely Tory Burch Tote would be another great one for work. It looks very stylish and chic, and it looks like I could probably stuff my MacBook Air + a few legal-size files in there without too much trouble.


I love rag & bone jeans, but they can be really difficult to find in a size 23, so I was happy to come across these dark-wash Skinny Saxby Jeans on sale in my size. I am dying to get my box and see how they fit on Monday. I'm sure they'll need some minimal alterations, but this brand generally fits my frame well.


There is also a good crop of beauty items and exclusives that are part of the Anniversary Sale. This year, I knew the True NARS Lip Pencil Set had to come home with me. These chubby, velvety lip pencils have upped my lip game significantly. I usually wear the NARS pencil beneath as a base look, then add just a teeny bit of Fresh Sugar shine over top for a perfect pout that stays (almost) all day. I love that my favorite shade ('Yu') is part of this bunch. Best bright pink lipstick ever! I also love NARS' highly pigmented cheek and bronzer colors, and this pretty palette gives you a bunch of NARS signature shades for a great package price. I also came away very intrigued by the YSL Glossy Stain Trio, which looks to contain some bold and classic colors.

On the skin care side, the Clarisonic Mia 2 looks to be a reasonable price for this wonder brush for skin. I started using mine six years ago, and it still works perfectly, and I love how clean it leaves my skin. It's a great tool to have in your beauty arsenal, and snagging one on discount can be difficult, so act soon if you're interested.


I always manage to find some interesting accessories I want to try. I've been seeing the Frends headphones everywhere when I've been travelling or commuting, so I decided to order this set with both in- and over-ear phones to test out how they sound. If I like them, Frends has all sorts of neat caps you can get to jazz up the earpieces.

I also have a bit of a thing with watches, which I know is kind of old-fashioned in my generation. I wear a watch every since day and feel naked without one. I have been eyeing the kate spade 'grammercy' style watches for a couple years now, and I might cave later on in the sale if they're still there. Since I have a rose gold/platium wedding set, I'm always on the lookout for other jewels with that same combination of metal colors.

If you've found any must-haves from the sale, please share! Once I receive the items (boo extended shipping timeline), I'll try to post some thoughts on what ended up working for me!

Happy Shopping!

x, Tam

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Travel Diary: Cannon Beach, Oregon + Summer Sun Safety + a J.Crew Swimsuit + Jack Rogers Review

Beach Day Outfit
Tee: Forever 21 | Shorts: Topshop 'Hallie' | Shoes: Jack Rogers | Hat: J.Crew | Bag: Givenchy| Sunglasses: Karen Walker | Watch: Michael Kors | Bracelet: David Yurman

Sean and I spent a long Fourth of July weekend in beautiful Oregon. It was my first time visiting this pretty state, and I loved it. For Independence Day, we drove out to the coast from where we were staying in Portland and spent the day at beautiful Cannon Beach. We were lucky enough to get a clear and sunny day, and the 70-degree weather was a nice respite from the over-90 temperatures we had been experiencing in Portland.

Red White & Blue Cannon Beach

The town of Cannon Beach was charming and beachy, but my favorite part of the landscape was the huge Haystock Rock that juts over 200 feet out of the water. You can walk out to it during low tide, and it has an intricate cave system within the volcanic rock.

Cannon Beach, Oregon
Igneous Haystack Rock on the left / Fourth of July beach revelers on the right

Monday, July 13, 2015

Recipe: Creating a Pimm's Rangoon Cocktail

Anyone who's ever come over to our house knows that Sean is a bartender extraordinaire. Today, in honor of Wimbledon, I asked him to help me make one of my favorite drinks, the Pimm's Rangoon (a slightly modified version of the Pimm's Cup). This drink is so delicious, I had to share my experience making one!

The Pimm’s Cup is the official drink of Wimbledon. It’s a refreshing summer concoction that hits the spot whether you’re watching tennis, at a picnic, or lounging by the pool. The main ingredient is Pimm’s No. 1, a gin-based liqueur infused with spices and other botanicals. (There used to be Pimm’s Nos. 2-6 as well, but the original was the best, and today it’s is the only one still made year-round.)

The Pimm's Rangoon Cocktail

I’ll leave it to Wimbledon to tell you the official recipe for the official Pimm’s Cup, but I want to show you a modified Pimm’s Cup called a Pimm’s Rangoon, developed by the talented bartenders at the Violet Hour bar in Chicago (if you haven't been, go just for the handcrafted cocktails!). The recipe is not complicated, and does not call for too many exotic ingredients, but presumes you have a basic bar already set up. You will need a shaker, a strainer, and a muddler at a minimum, though a soda siphon and a conical sieve help too.

Pimm's Rangoon Tools
Here’s the list of ingredients:
  • 1 fl. oz. Pimm’s No. 1
  • 1 fl. oz. London Dry Gin
  • ¾ fl. oz. Simple Syrup* (or Ginger Syrup if you like a kick and can find it or make it)
  • ¾ fl. oz. Fresh Lime Juice
  • 1 Mint Sprig (save a leaf for a garnish)
  • 3 Cucumber Slices (plus one more slice for a garnish)
  • ½ Strawberry (and the other ½ for a garnish)
  • Soda Water to top

Pimm's Rangoon Cocktail Ingredients

And here’s how you make it:

1. Prep your produce by cutting the cucumber into slices and halving the strawberry (if you like more strawberry, go for it, but you run the risk of overwhelming the cooling flavor of the cuke), Pick a healthy sprig of mint, and pluck all the leaves. Save the prettiest mint leaf for a garnish.

2. Place the cucumber, strawberry and mint leaves into your shaker. Add the gin. Use the muddler to mash up the cucumber and the strawberry and bruise the mint.
Muddling Pimm's Rangoon

3. Add the rest of the liquid ingredients to the shaker, add a handful of ice, and shake shake shake for at least 20 seconds.

Mixing Pimm's Rangoon

4. Pop the top of your shaker and strain into a cocktail glass using the Hawthorne strainer. If you have one, double strain the cocktail with the conical sieve when you pour to catch all of the pulp from the produce. It’s okay if you don’t double strain, but it looks nicer if you do.

Double Straining Pimm's Rangoon
5. Add a spritz of soda to top your cocktail. How much to add is up to your tastes. I like just a little, but a friend of mine likes to make this drink in a Collins glass and fill it with soda to the top like a cooler. You decide!

6. Put slits in a slice of cucumber and a half a strawberry and perch them on the rim of the glass. Take that last pretty mint leaf and float it on the drink. Your end product should look something like the first photo in this post, and I'm hoping it tastes as good as that one did.


x, Tam (and Sean)

*Note: simple syrup can be purchased, but it is easily made for pennies at home by boiling together sugar and water in a 1:1 ratio until dissolved. Ginger syrup is a little harder to get your hands on. The company Ginger People sells a nice product which can be picked up at larger Whole Foods Markets, or you can make your own by juicing fresh ginger, and then boiling it with sugar in a 1:1 ratio. FYI, ginger syrup is also great mixed with soda water over ice with a squeeze of lime.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

6 Tips for Managing Stress, Dealing with Anxiety, and Enjoying Your Life

As I promised, I'm going to be doing a few more wellness posts here and there. After a very stressful week segueing into a relaxing weekend away with family and friends, I felt ready to share some of my easy ways to make sure anxiety and stress don't rule my life.

Swinging and Forgetting Your Troubles

Most of the time, I love my fast-paced, jam-packed life and career. Doing the kind of legal work I do is tremendously rewarding, but it’s also challenging, high-stakes, and sometimes heartbreaking. Squeezing in time for blogging, calligraphy, exercise, family and friends, and all the million little things that need to be done to make life run smoothly can be overwhelming.

I am a fairly high-strung person who has had a very active imagination since childhood. I’ve suffered from bouts of anxiety since I was a teenager, and over time, I’ve developed some relatively simple coping mechanisms that really help me bring my anxiety level down, assess my priorities, get shit done, and enjoy my life.

Admit to yourself that you are overwhelmed

Sometimes I get into a pattern of feeling a growing sense of apprehension without really realizing it. I try to pay attention to those feelings now and let my conscious mind realize that I’m feeling overwhelmed and need to step back and address it. The first step to coping with anxiety is realizing it’s about to bubble to the surface.

Neaten your space

Having a desk strewn with files and papers piled on the floor of my office makes a stressful day and a long to-do list feel impossible. The same goes at home—it’s hard to clear my mind when I have to clear a spot on the table to start a calligraphy project. It’s difficult to drift off to sleep when I have unpacked bags, a cluttered room, and laundry to put away.

Spending a few minutes tidying up my space does wonders for tidying up my mind and helping me to refocus. As I’m removing those files from my desk, I can prioritize them. They stay on my desk in a neat vertical file caddy for immediate action, go into an appropriate “action pile” on my bookshelf, or are placed in my filing cabinet if no action is needed for a couple weeks.

Pretty Desk Clutter

Monday, July 6, 2015

Travel Diary: Stripes in Kings Park, Perth

Tam in Topshop in Perth
Dress: Topshop (identical in red here or similar in a Bardot style or a sleeveless style for summer) | Shoes: Splendid | Bag: Valentino | Necklace: Perry Street via Rocksbox | Earrings: Gorjana via Rocksbox | Bracelet: Vintage | Watch: Michael Kors

Happy Monday! I have another post from our Australia trip for you today. This amazing setting is Kings Park and Botanic Gardens in Perth, Western Australia. The park and botanic gardens are enormous and have an incredible view of the city and harbor. We stopped by and wandered through right around sunset before heading to dinner.

Perth Overlook

Splendid Greenville Wedges

A quick plug for the Splendid platform slides I'm sporting here: I've been wearing these non-stop this spring and summer. They were comfortable right out of the box, with a padded footbed and a nicely balanced platform. The combination of comfort, a couple extra inches in height, and the leg-lengthening nude color have made these my go-to summer footwear this year.

Hello Framboise Rocksbox Perry Street Necklace

The necklace and earrings I'm wearing in this post are both pieces from my Rocksbox subscription. For all the details on Rocksbox, check out my review post here. If you're interested in signing up, you can use the code "helloframboisexoxo" to get a free month of jewels sent your way.

Below is a photo of me with my lovely and stylish sister-in-law, who gets to live in this beautiful city. She and her husband were such great hosts to Sean and me, especially given that I was still reeling from my hand injury and needing follow-up care. We can't wait to go back and visit again, injury-free.

Tam & Court

I'll leave you with a last shot from the end of the sunset over the harbor. The colors were so vivid and beautiful!

Perth Sunset

For my fellow American readers, I hope you had a wonderful Independence Day weekend! You can shop my look in the photos below!

x, Tam