Outfit: It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

I have a thing for manor houses; we spend many a weekend wandering the grounds of old estates and snapping pictures outside the stately buildings, but rarely do we venture inside. I've been working on and off on a list of "Manor Houses to visit in Northern Ireland," ones we regularly haunt that others might also like to visit, but somehow I've never finished the post. Perhaps I will complete that post one day, but for now if you're only visiting one manor house I'd recommend going to the Argory and if at all possible, go this weekend for their Christmas Fair. We've seen the Argory in early spring when their paths are lined with snowdrops and the height of summer when elder flowers are growing as high as your waist, but only recently have we tripped inside the manor house itself--and I can't think of a better season to view it in. The rooms are filled with Christmas cheer; towering trees topped with candle lights and ringed with presents, vintage Christmas cards cluttering the marble tabletops, and antique toys laid out on the ground--the whole house looks like a scene from a vintage Christmas film. You half expect Bing Crosby or Bette Davis to waltz down the hallway. I tried to do the scene justice in my newest Unique Vintage dress; feeling like the star in my own version of Christmas in Connecticut. Although I might be a slightly more adept cook than Barbra Stanwyck was in that film, I'm equally out-of-place in this grand old house. Our own humble home has also been decorated with tree and lights and although a bit less glamorous, the glow off the tree definitely brings some cheer into the greyest December day. Drop by the Argory this weekend for a chance to see how a family would celebrate Christmas in the 1800s between exploring the courtyard which will be packed with food and craft stalls and a traditional working carousel. I'm hoping to nip down on Sunday and see the festivities for myself.  
*Unique Vintage dress (similar and similar), vintage necklace, old gloves (similar)* 

This Unique Vintage number might be my new "Christmas" dress. I have a favorite dark floral dress I wear every Thanksgiving that I now think of as my "Thanksgiving" dress for the foreseeable future. It just fits that occasion so well and makes me feel lovely. I also like that I accidentally started a personal little tradition with that dress and each year I bring it out and re-live some of the memories that were made the last time I wore it. This dress with its super fitted but flattering cut in red plaid with just a hint of green feels like it could be my new Christmas equivalent. A dress I bring out every year around this season and make some new Christmas memories in it. It reminds me of the vintage dresses you find in thrift shops and antique stores that were the original owners wedding dresses, but weren't made in white, but were slightly more practical and got worn and re-worn through the course of their life on special occasions. Instead of holding one special memory, they held many. Of course, the fitted design does make it less than ideal for family feasts, but other gatherings or evenings wrapping presents are made infinitely more glamorous by throwing "this old thing" on.

Unique Vintage dress (similar and similar), vintage necklace, old gloves (similar)
*pictures by Thomas*

Styles Of Winters Past

I'm battling the typical winter cold/flu, so since it's ill-advised to take photographs outside right now I decided to dip into my archives for some styles of winters past. One of the great things about having a blog is having access to all those archives from previous years; reminders of what you wore, what coats you have to pull out of storage, what coats seem to be eternally missing although you know you didn't get rid of them...There are also some mittens in this post that I can't quite place. It's weird that I live in a tiny house and yet things always seem to be disappearing! Anyway, I think it's about time to wear all of the plaid coats and fox hats.  

Outfit: Mists of Avalon

The woods have turned mystical. A blanket of mist and fog descending from above to weave between the bare, splintered trees, settling on the bed of orange-red leaves. I also weave between the wintered trunks, tripping down familiar paths now hidden beneath a thick layer of autumn slowly fading away. Some days I walk this way in practical jeans and boots and a smart coat, but other days it makes sense to drift through the woods like a romantic sprite. A romantic sprite with damp hemlines, since reality is almost never quite as romantic as the stories, although sometimes, sometimes it is even lovelier...   
                                                                     *Les Papillon de Leticia crownFree People Wednesday dressMoon Spinner rings*

I have a thing for crowns. Not tiaras, nor mimicking the monarchy, but rather something more whimsical and fantastical. I find them randomly, often not while looking for them (and inevitably lose them in my home...), like the one I'm wearing today. I found it while looking for mouse hats--as one does--but fell in love with this beauty instead. Handmade by Leticia who specializes in dreamy, bridal pieces with delicate petals and felt hat fits for a traditional riding party. The crown topped off an already romantic look...although I still kind of want that mouse hat.  

Outfit: Feeling Festive

Today we are celebrating a belated Thanksgiving with friends (a Friendsgiving, if you will) and between the mayhem of trying to cook my first turkey without giving everyone involved food poisoning and figuring out a way to squeeze everyone into our tiny house, I'm feeling quiet festive. We didn't celebrate Thanksgiving last year because it was my first in Northern Ireland and planning one seemed too stressful, but this year I'm glad we organized a little gathering. I really enjoy learning new recipes--I have a goal of trying one new recipe a week even if some weeks it is just a new variation of tomato soup in the hunt to fine the perfect one--and bringing some seasonal decorations into the house. Following this celebration we'll have to pay a visit to the Christmas tree farm and start decking the halls for that holiday! But first I have a day of cooking and baking ahead of me as I prepare for our guests. It should be fun since this is my first time making a Thanksgiving dinner and everyone else attending's first Thanksgiving full stop. I wasn't able to find some of the ingredients I needed for certain dishes, like fresh pumpkins or canned pumpkins to make pie, but most of the traditional dishes will be filling the table in one form or another with the Macy's parade streaming in the background.  
                                beretJoanie Clothing sweater, old gloves (similar), vintage skirt (similar), Wolford tights, old oxfords (similar here and here)

I pulled this vintage skirt and my fox mittens out of winter storage recently and thought the two made a playful combination I hadn't worn before. Winter is always ideal for pattern mixing; more layers and knit fabrics seem to help make the mix work and even mis-matched things are forgiven if they keep you warm. My new sweater from Joanie clothing finished off the outfit nicely and added that festive touch--the trompe-l'oeil bow reminds me of all the presents we'll be wrapping soon.

beret, Joanie Clothing sweater, old gloves (similar), vintage skirt (similar), Wolford tights, old oxfords (similar here and here)
*pictures by Thomas*