What's Over the Neighbor's Fence?

Jul 7, 2013

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My particular neighborhood in Seattle is Lower Queen Anne, which forums have dubbed "where cool moms hang out with their strollers". Ummm....

When we first moved here we were all worried we'll be living on the cusp of suburbia (I had enough of that at my folks' house), but then we saw all the coffee shops, micro-brew bars, neon signs, and thai places, and dubbed the forum bologna. But yesterday we decided to take a walk up to Upper Queen Anne (it literally rests on a huge hill), and stumbled into a whole other dimension. It was a beautiful suburb...smack dab in the middle of the city. Like we felt like we were on the movie set of American Beauty. So we walked around hand in hand, pretending which house we'd buy, and making up stories for the people living inside. 

At one point I was adamant that someone owned a House Elf and Marc quit playing, but whatevah. 
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Also, let's talk about my 1950's drop-waist dress that was gifted to me by the ever-awesome Jenny of Stranger Bird Vintage. Holy cannoli is it pretty. Jenny is equal parts vintage lover, librarian, curator, and ukulele-er, and the concept of her store makes her pieces extra awesome:
"Closet crisis! Have you ever found a real gem while you were thrifting - something gorgeous and lovely that you just can't bear to leave behind, even if it's not your size or style? After falling in love like this way too many times, I decided it was time to share the love! Every item I list is something that I would be proud to wear myself, if only I had the closet space." 
It's so fun to wear a piece Jenny herself would personally love, and you feel a kind of friendship with the transaction. Like "Oh hey, Marlen, I literally can't force-feed my closet another thing. Ya want it?"

Yeah I want it.

And this was another dress I just couldn't handle hiding underneath layers, so I did the second best thing: Go all 90's on you and tie a patterned sweater around my waist. I quite like the outcome, and I feel like I've found a layering hack for the summer (muahaha).
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Also, this is how Marc frowns. HAHA, I died.

Now, since I nabbed the drop-waisted number I thought it'd be only fair to list some other pretty dresses Stranger Bird Vintage carries. And psst, they're only $35!
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PS- Don't forget to enter my TWO giveaways to  Rust Belt Threads and Adelaide's! Enter both HERE and HERE. I mean, only if you're into free dresses. 

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  1. i LOVE the house with the tall eaves. I've always dreamed of living on Queen Anne, I just love it every time I visit. Also love your dress/sweater combo and the short hair - I recently cut my hair too!

  2. Love the dress! Upper Queen Anne is gorgeous. I'm in the upper part of Fremont, which is also kind of mommy central, but I love living in a quiet, pretty part of town. I also really love going for walks and looking at pretty houses. It's one of my favorite activities.

    Ladyface Blog

  3. Your new 'do is adorable!!!! And what a dreamy neighborhood! I want to pretend to live there!

  4. That dress is so uniquely gorgeous--and you guys definitely found a fun place to do a little exploring!

  5. My goodness! What a darling dress! You're one lucky girl to receive such lovely gifts. I love the stripes and the gold buttons. Your neighborhood sounds amazing with all the all the coffee shops and microbreweries. It's so great to have cool hangouts walking distance. How strange to have a suburban neighborhood right in the city. There was a neighborhood back home that the hubby and I would take walks in, but our underlying motive was checking out the beautiful homes.


  6. Lovely!! Thanks for sharing!

  7. I love your look here. You have such a talent for making a piece your own. Thanks again for the shoutout :D

    Also, I totally want to live in that little cottage with the sort of half timbering! Cute!

  8. Omg, Loving this look on you! the area looks so beautiful

  9. Ooh, pretty dress! And pretty houses! I'm loving your photos of Seattle. You seem like you're loving it! And look at you, getting all of these awesome pieces from cool Etsy shops!

    Also, that picture of Marc is beautiful.

  10. Hahaha was that the face that was made after the house elf comment? To be fair I'm sure I'd suggest something along those lines too. These homes are utterly breathtaking but at the same time you feel like their could be something sinister lurking in the basement like a ghost or two or ompa lumpa servant type thing! Yeah, I went there.

    Hope you have a wonderful week!

  11. HAHA, Marc's frown is the funniest thing ever.
    I love your layers, that dress is perfect thing with the top underneath!! Exploring new neighborhood and areas of the city is always fun!

  12. That dress is so fun! I love the button details on the shoulder.

    Upper Queen Anne is like my dream come true neighborhood. I wish that i could afford to live there some day! The houses are so gorgeous.


  13. Omg I haven't been on your blog so long that I missed your haircut! After scrolling back, I don't think you look like a sad French woman a la Fantine. I think it goes well with your cutesy vintage-y style :) This dress is no exception! I love the cut and colors on it

    Mili from call me, Maeby

  14. omg that summer layering hack is so good. gonna steal this idea for sure! haha

    and have you read Where'd you go Bernadette? by Maria Semple? Takes place in Seattle and the story is told through emails between characters, intercepted notes, other internet communications, etc, and most importantly it's super hilarious! if you haven't read it there's a great review of it here: http://boingboing.net/2013/04/08/whered-you-go-bernadette-f.html, i just couldn't possibly word it better than this guy without giving anything away!

  15. This dress is so cool! I never really go for drop waist dresses, but I really like this stripey one. Hooray for 90s sweater tying too!

    Also this is completely random, but when you followed me on good ol' chictopia I noticed you're from Orland Park and I freaked out a little because that's where my family is from. What a small world! It's too bad you already moved because I'm going to visit all my extended family there next week. We'll have to get together when we're both there visiting sometime in the future!

  16. You look great !
    Your blog is lovely !

  17. Wow, what a nice neighbourhood, I especially love that little house with the stoned path that leads to it <3. And your outfit is über cute - it couldn't be any different. You rock!


  18. I totally noticed your layering technique before you mentioned it! See? Your "Layered Like an Onion" is teaching us things. We are your young grasshoppers!

    A very cute outfit, and how smart to show off a few other things this vintage store has to encourage people to check them out.

  19. cute dress http://differentcands.blogspot.kr/

  20. great photos, dear! and such a great idea to make up stories and pretending just for a little while! also the dress looks great on you, love how you layered it up :)


  21. Which ones own a house elf... omg, reading your posts is always such an adventure. I FEED OFF YOU, MARLEN. I FEEEEED. (feeds feeds feeds noms)

    I have gained your power.

    I love how you went all 90s on this dress. That dress has the coooolest stripe patterns. Stripes these days are boring, plain and symmetrical and the same width all throughout, but these stripes are exciting and colorful and wHOA what's gonna happen next? We just don't know, 'cause the stripes are crazy cool.

    Also I like how Marc frowns. That is a picture perfect frown if I ever saw one.

  22. That dress is ADORBS, and girl, it looks like you're getting a lot of walking time out of those shoes. I'm really sad I didn't get them for myself now!

  23. so cute and lovely! :)


  24. Haha- "layering hack for summer"- I love it! That neighborhood looks amazing, it is fun to make up stories for the inhabitants. Love this dress!!

  25. haha that frown! got me too
    love your stripes and looking beautiful as always :)

    The DayLee Journal

  26. Your outfit is spectacular- I swear, you can pull off absolutely anything! And the frowning Marc photo made me LOL! Your neighborhood is lovely!

    Xo, Hannah


  27. I think I'd really love to live in your world. You see things slightly whimsier than I do and it' starting to make me more than just a touch jelly... that, and your ability to layer... seriously...

    : signe
    : the daily savant :
    : the daily savant : Blog Lovin

  28. Love the mix of stripes! I'm a stripe fanatic...so I'll forever be obsessed.

    A Southern Drawl

  29. Very pretty dress and I love those houses!

  30. Omg, house porn/really gorgeous houses @_@

    I love all the stripe details in the outfit! Normally, I would find this overwhelming, but the slightly muted colours make it really pretty c:

  31. Love the darling buttons! Such a 'sweet' fun outfit!!

  32. First of all, your dress looks like a sunset in the desert or something and I love it. And I also love that dress from her shop (#1), holy-amaze-balls it took my about five seconds to head to etsy and favorite that!
    Also, Rob and I did this SAME EXACT thing on Sunday night! My new apartment is right by a super swanky part of town and we wandered through just looking at all the beautiful houses and picking favorites.

  33. So THIS is Marc! My fake Marc has a beard, too.

    I used to live in a dump neighborhood where a double murder happened upstairs above my apartment, but just one block over was the prettiest neighborhood ever! These houses are awesome and so is your dress!

    Life of Mabel


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