Thursday, September 27, 2012

Weather systems

dress: vintage (Bluesville USA) | scarf: vintage | cardigan: Forever 21 | beret: Target | shoes: thrifted

Are you sick of me waxing poetic about my love for autumn? Bad news - it's not going to stop anytime soon. It already feels strange looking back at my last post and seeing bare legs everywhere...tights weather is officially here to stay, and I couldn't be happier. As soon as the weather dipped into the low sixties, I practically ran to my closet: "Velvet! Tights! Berets!" And this outfit was born. I wore it for a photoshoot at an outdoor farmer's market, and there was the most wonderful crispness to the air. How nice it was to get out of the office and get some fresh air! I live for these days of early fall.

At first I thought that, with the beret, maybe this outfit was too much...something, I don't know. But now I think I love it. I'm fickle that way. I felt very French, and looked it, too - or so people told me. Anyway, I'd been wanting to dig out this beret ever since I saw Moonrise Kingdom. (Oh, Suzy Bishop's wardrobe...) I hadn't worn it in years - partially because I felt I didn't know how to wear it properly. I think I did okay with it this time around!

I remember I posted a while back about my summer to-do list. Well...we didn't do so great at accomplishing much on the list, sadly. Much of it was for good reasons: Chris got swamped with a ton of art commissions, for one thing, which was wonderful! But part of it, I must say, was that I just let time get away from me. I'm not proud of that - I know it's just a silly to-do list and it's not the end of the world, but I really would like to get better at planning.

So now that we're into autumn, it's time for a fresh start. We're going to draw up a brand new to-do list, and we're determined to conquer it this time! I feel like I haven't had a truly full autumn, it might have been since high school. That's just not acceptable. This year, I'm going to be all about pumpkin patches and apple orchards and cider presses and long walks on leaf-covered paths...mark my words!

Also on the to-do list? ArtPrize! ArtPrize is one of those things that makes Grand Rapids truly a special place to live. For the past four years, for two weeks or so in September, our whole downtown has been basically transformed into a giant art gallery. There are pieces of art adorning the sides of buildings, the inside of restaurants, the streets, the sidewalks...anywhere and everywhere. It's an art competition, yes, but it's also an incredible chance to build community. I've never seen anything like it. It's been underway for a little over a week now, but I haven't read up on any of the entries because I want to see them in I can't wait to see what this year's competition has in store!

I hope your fall has gotten off to a great start! Have you done anything autumn-ish yet?

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Summer's greatest hits

Remember when I said I was coming down with a slight cold? Well, it turns out there was nothing "slight" about it. I suppose I you could say I was able to be productive this week, if resting and watching Sherlock counts...somehow I get the feeling that it doesn't, though. But today it seems I'm getting my strength back (yay!), so I'm enjoying a little boost in productivity.

Now that fall is establishing itself here in Michigan, I thought I'd say goodbye to summer by taking a look back at some of my favorite summer looks from this year. Summer isn't exactly my favorite season clothing-wise; I'm one of those that prefers layers and tends to melt in the humidity. But this year I tried to have a bit of fun with my wardrobe, and even though most of the season was nearly unbearable, I think I came out the other side with some nice summer looks.

These are in chronological order, though I do think it's funny how well some of them pair up: the whites, the reds, the blue-with-neck-bows, and the dark-with-patterns.

Red was definitely one of the breakout colors of the season for me. Never underestimate the power of a good red dress and the right shade of lipstick! (Make sure your shoes are comfortable, though - a lesson I failed to learn...)

As you can see, I couldn't quite hide my affinity for tights, even in the 80-degree weather. But I really do think I wore them less often this summer than last! In my defense, too, my office can be freezing sometimes. So I'm not totally crazy. Also, I've come to learn this year that I really do gravitate towards neckbows before just about anything else.

 I know these are both really recent (my last two posts, actually) but I just felt so amazing in both of these outfits. And that's what style should be about, really - not impressing other people, but rather impressing yourself.

I don't know about you, but sometimes I feel like I'm in a total wardrobe rut. I get completely sick of my closet and think I have nothing to wear, that my clothes are so boring...but looking back at these outfits, I realize that that's really not the case at all! I may not have thousands or even hundreds of dollars in my clothing budget each month (not even remotely close)...but I don't need to. Every time I get bored with my closet, I force myself to look back through my outfit history - and in so doing, I come back around again to getting excited about all the things I do have.

And now? As much as I love how I wore these pieces in summer...I can't to layer them up for cooler temperatures! What were your favorite outfits you wore this summer? Were they new favorites or old staples?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Step out for a while

dress: Navy Pointillism dress c/o Sugarlips | hat: vintage | belt: Forever 21 | shoes: Charlotte Russe | tights: Target

I'm a firm believer that every girl should own at least one dress that is as comfortable as pajamas, and I am happy to say that I have found such a dress for myself! It's feminine but not fussy, comfortable yet dressy enough for work. And it really does remind me of my favorite blue silky pajamas - in the best possible way. I've already worn it several times since I got it, and it hasn't even been a week and a half! I can't help's like I have my own little secret. To the world, I look classy and well-put-together - but inside, I feel cozy enough to crawl into bed with a mug of hot chocolate. It really is the best of both worlds.

And speaking of hot chocolate - it's finally getting cool enough that I can have hot drinks without feeling awful and sweaty! We're getting a gorgeous little taste of autumn here in Michigan and I couldn't be happier. When Chris and I took these photos at the end of last week, it was at least 80 degrees even though it was late evening, but when we did some photos today, I was actually shivering. I love it. 

Unfortunately, I seem to have come down with a slight cold, and I know who the adorable little culprit is - my niece! My family and I went down to Pittsburgh for the weekend for my new baby niece's baptism, and her older sister was a little bit sick...but I really don't mind. I was just so happy to see them. I got to spend time with them and my little nephew, my brother and sister-in-law, and many dear friends I hadn't seen in far too brother and I even got to squeeze in a couple of (very quiet, very dark) games of Dominion while my niece and nephew slept. Nerdy, I know, but it was super fun.

The trip went by far too quickly, of course. Every time we go to Pittsburgh, we drive past so many things I would like to see, but we're always busy! I never feel like I have enough time in that city. Grand Rapids is definitely first in my heart, but if there's one other place I could ever consider home, it would be the 'burgh. We're thinking of spending Thanksgiving there this year, and I can't wait.

Well, my mind is a little bit hazy from the lack of sleep and the pressure on my sinuses, so I think I'm going to watch some Sherlock and call it a day! I've got a busy couple weeks ahead (lots of website design + blog redesign work) so I'm going to enjoy rest while I can. Do you have any fun plans for the week?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Oh, be joyful

dress: Sugarhill Boutique (via Modcloth) | belt: vintage | tights: Target | shoes: thrifted

Well, ladies and gentlemen (mostly ladies, I'm guessing) - I've done it. I've found the perfect dress for me. When I saw this on Modcloth, my initial instinct was to buy it right away...but I'm always hesitant about spending more than $50 on any item of clothing. So I waited. And I waffled. And finally I decided to go for it. I mean, how often do you find a dress that 1) has a print of your favorite animal on it 2) has your favorite kind of collar 3) is versatile enough that you can wear it with just about anything? No regrets. You'll probably be seeing this dress an awful lot, so I hope you like foxes and Peter Pan collars as much as I do.

The first time I wore this dress out, a ton of people who know about this blog remarked on how amazing it was that I actually found a dress with foxes on it. One guy even called it my superhero costume. And you know what? I love that. By day, I'm Laura, mild-mannered writer/graphic designer. But by night? I'm the Joyful Fox, spreading cheer all throughout the internet. Or at least trying to!

It's been a busy week here at Joyful Fox headquarters. (Makes it sound so official, doesn't it?) September is always that way, even though I'm not in school anymore. It's crazy busy even with birthdays alone. It used to be that my dad was the only one in the family with a September birthday, but then we adopted my sisters, and they both have September birthdays, and my brother's wife has the same birthday as my sister, and Chris's dad has the same birthday as my dad...craziness! I'm trying to be a little bit more creative with gifts this year, and I'm hoping to work my way up to getting all handmade or DIY gifts for everyone for Christmas. We'll see how that goes!

Speaking of resolutions of sorts, I'm going to try to be better about getting back to people who ask questions in the comments. There's no great way to do that, since as far as I know, Blogger doesn't let you know when someone has replied to one of your comments. So if you ask a question, check back in the next couple of days and I should have a response up! (As a side note, I also now have an email address set up for this blog, so you can also contact me directly at thejoyfulfox [at] gmail dot com.)

I hope you're all having a beautiful start to your autumn! As mentioned above, mine has been rather hectic so far, but I'm loving it. It's good to stay busy. Like so many other bloggers, I've been trying to convince myself that it's cooler outside than it really is - drinking hot tea and pumpkin spice lattes (is that a cliche now? I don't care, it's delicious), wearing tights and cardigans, and bundling up in blankets. Unfortunately, the highs are still in the 80's here, but it's only a matter of time! Are you trying to squeeze in as many summer activities as possible, or are you (like me) ushering in fall with eagerness and open arms?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

It was all yellow

top, belt: Forever 21 | skirt: vintage | shoes: Payless

If the point of Labor Day weekend is that you not labor, then I'm pretty sure I missed the point! Instead of doing anything particularly end-of-summer-y, once Saturday rolled around, I took the opportunity to do all sorts of productive things I had been putting off for ages. Maybe it's from reading all of the organization tips in the ADHD book I'm designing at work. Whatever the reason, lately I've been feeling super motivated to get organized this autumn - so I actually spent a couple hours putting together a budget. And what's more, I actually kind of enjoyed it!

I'm also trying to spend less time on time-wasting websites (hello, Reddit) and instead spend time on websites that have the potential to be useful. So far, I've found some awesome tutorials on Stumbleupon. I feel like Stumbleupon is one of those sites people were talking about three years ago, so I'm a little bit late to the party - but I can't wait to try out some of the DIYs I've found. I think Sharpie mugs are first on my list...I'll definitely have to share my results.

Another thing I spent a lot of time working on this weekend - and I know I've been mentioning this for months - is the new layout for this blog! I'm actually glad that I put it off so much, because I adore the layout I've come up with now. It's not up yet (obviously), but once I get a few little pieces of art from Chris, it should be good to go.

You know, I feel like my little blog is growing up...and crazily enough, this fall I'll have had it for a whole year. It's really fun to look back at my post history. Sometimes I look into my closet and feel like I'm stuck in a rut...and then I see all the different outfits I've put together over the past 10-or-so months, and remember that there's always something new I can come up with. (Even if I always do return to yellow and blue.)

So while my Labor Day weekend probably wouldn't make anyone's top-10 list for "most relaxing vacations ever," I was still really happy with it - and believe it or not, I was actually kind of eager to get back to work, too. What's happening to me?!

Did any of you do anything awesome this holiday weekend? I hope yours was wonderful!