Life Lately

Dec 19, 2013

SWEATER: Zara's (similar here)| DRESS (worn as shirt): French Connection (similarish here)| SKIRT: c/o Vintage Griffin| BOOTS: Macy's (similar here, and only $23!)

So I realized I didn't really tell you the story of moving back to Chicago for good, and just assumed you'd somehow...know? Haha so gather close because today I'll be filling you in. We lived in Seattle for six and a half months and it was a little bittersweet when we decided it'd be best to move back home. I was missing my family and friends a ton and, even though I was having a great time adventuring through the PNW, I still had this countdown in the back of my head for June and the moment I could haphazardly pack up things and go run home. But the real reason that we decided to take the plunge and do it was because Marc was starting a business with his friend and they were at the point where he really couldn't be 2000 miles away anymore and stay on point. And so when he brought up the topic gingerly of perhaps maybe busting out the cardboard boxes and suitcases, I contained my glee and the urge to cartwheel and, instead, agreed cooperatively ;)

But then, a week before we made the big move back home, Marc and I decided to break up. I know, I know it seems completely out of the blue and it kind of was. But I feel like things the past few months started dwindling down and, even though we loved each other, we weren't very happy. We still had awesome times together and our days were peppered with laughs, inside jokes, and good talks, but there was an undercurrent of tension and caginess that boiled to the surface every now and then that I tried to stubbornly ignore. But in the end we decided that that blasted uneasy feeling was real and that we should be honest with ourselves, and agreed that it'd be best to take a break from each other. I was with him for a little over two years so of course I'm blue and find pangs of missing him at the most random of times, but I also feel in my gut that this was the right decision. I grew up with images of Noah patiently building a house for the one that got away and Cary Grant waiting on top of the Empire State building til night falls, and felt like this lost that. So I'm both happy and sad- which leads me right back into bittersweetness doesn't it?


And now, if we can take a detour from my Bridget Jones state of mind right now, let's talk about my outfit! So because I moved and didn't have 15 pieces of luggage handy, I had to pack all of my clothes into boxes and ship them over to the chilly Midwest. Actually, let me rephrase that: ship them over to the chilly Midwest during Christmas season. Which of course means that out of my nine boxes only two have made their way back home to me so far. Which in turn means I have like...twelve things hanging in my closet. So, suffice it to say, coming up with outfits has been interesting, haha. 

But luckily, this Vintage Griffin corduroy skirt somehow managed to beat my boxes and show up on my doorstep, mercifully giving me more options. This skirt is such a pretty piece. The color of wine and a flouncy ruffling on the bottom, it makes me feel just the right amount of country and cozy. To style it, I paired it with other dark, deep colors and decided to play with competing hemlines by matching it with a very long knit cardigan. I think the outcome came out very cozy and it'd probably have a different feeling to it if I chose a waist hitting sweater. Which just shows you: don't be scared to experiment! :)


And this isn't the first piece I nabbed from Vintage Griffin! I also got this striped short sleeve sweater and silk scarf (worn in this post), which meets my every loud color need ;) 


And here are some of my favorite picks from Vintage Griffin- which one's your favorite?




Linking up with: Friday Fab Favorites, Two Thirty Five Design, Penniless Socialite, The Mrs & the Momma 
Follow Messages on a Napkin on:



  1. You look happy..relieved almost. Best wishes!

  2. gah, i love these vintage outfits.

  3. Aww! That looks like such a cozy sweater
    Fashion, Trends & More

  4. I love the 1st outfit so much! That cardigan is so warm and I'm head over heels for those booties! :) It just gives off such a vintage feel because of the dress! :) Feeling super festive now! xx

    Chic Nikkie
    Bloglovin' | Facebook

  5. Congrats on your move back to Chicago!! I adore that city, had my honeymoon there and lived in Valparaiso, IN for a year! So great..

  6. You have the most amazing style! I especially love that red velvet skirt, not everyone could wear that but you make it look so so pretty. can't wait to see more posts from you!

  7. Wow.

    I'm very impressed with your frankness- both with us and the relationship with both Marc and with your home in Seattle. Both moving and breaking up is hard to do and you went for it knowing it was right in the long term.

    Also- never would have guessed this was from only two packages of clothes. It looks very put together.

  8. I was just wondering about where you were since you hadn't posted in a while! As for everything that has happened, don't lose sight of your dreams and aspirations. It's hard to lose a strong connection with another person. Really hard. So daydream about your future. Imagine yourself in all kinds of places, writing all kinds of things. And then do it. And have fun. And laugh a ton.

  9. Wow, sounds like you are going through some pretty heavy changes right now. Break ups and moving is always hard. Sending some smiles and hugs your way!

    Also, your shirt is amazing and your sweater looks so cozy!


  10. Sorry to hear about your break up! it's good you are back home with friends and family who can support you though :)

    That skirt is such a nice piece - love the colour!

    Away From The Blue

  11. So many life changes at once! Best of luck to you girl - I know you'll come out on top :-)

  12. oh, my dear sweet writer.

    It seems like you've gone through two huge changes in your life recently. I admire your strength and the ability to stay positive and know what you and M needed. It can be hard after a long-term relationship to return to, normal, I suppose;they've been ingrained in your life in such a big way it's like a major surgery to separate them from you. I hope you'll keep doing well with it. :)

    on the bright side, your outfit is cozy and adorable! Just like you. ;)


  13. i just love the color palette in this outfit!!! lush maroon skirt!!! :D

    Animated Confessions

  14. Oh, Marlen. I don't get a chance to comment on your blog in forever, and THIS is what you spring on me? (I kid, I kid.) Seriously, I am SO, so sorry to hear about you and Marc. My breakup a few months ago was pretty similar to that, so I know how...weird it is. (That really is the best way to describe the feeling, isn't it?) Even so, I'm glad you did what felt right and that you seem to be taking it well. Obviously, I'm — and the entire blogosphere — here for you :)

    But if I can be selfish for just a minute, I'm pretty excited that you're back in Chicago! I'll be there again in February and I think we have to get to get together again. Hey, two single girls out on the town now? I think yes.

    And while I'm rambling. This outfit. So much love. As usual.

  15. Wow, that's a lot of life changes happening at once! I hope you're somewhat okay--I think I know what you mean about the Bridget Jones state of mind. We're definitely all sending you love <3 And re: outfit: I love the holiday-ness! That seems to be all I want to see these days.

  16. Oh wow Marlen, quite a few changes! I was wondering what sparked the idea to move back to Chicago...I saw that on Facebook and thought, "She's moving back? Since when!?"
    But it makes sense now, and hey, being close to friends/family is always happier.
    I'm so sorry about your breakup too. It sounds like you're handling it well though, and I'm sure it was for good reason. Sending lots of (cyber) hugs your way! <3
    Your fashion sense certainly hasn't diminished at all! Love the red skirt with that brown cardigan :)

    The Dragonfruit Diaries

  17. Lovely photos and outfit! Look at that snow! Wow!!


  18. nice!:)) xo

  19. Well I'm sad I will no longer get to see your fun Seattle pictures haha but glad you are happy to be home. That skirt is such a gorgeous color and perfect for this time of year.

  20. Sending lots of love and well wishes your way, sweet lady. I'm sorry to hear of your breakup, but it sounds like it was as nice a breakup as it could be (if there can ever be such a thing?!). Being both happy and sad is an odd feeling, I hope things seem a little easier soon <3

    Jennie xo |

  21. Awww girl I'm so happy you filled us in on your story! I have been at that same point in a relationship before when there's still lots of love but something has just faded out. I think its good you guys realized it now and who knows what the future brings! Either way sending hugs (and a virtual pint of ben and jerrys?) your way! As for the outfit that skirt is SO pretty and twirly, love it! :)
    XO hannah

  22. Ohh, that uneasy feeling. I know it all too well, and I'm glad you're free of it. You're looking lovely and happy, and the blues shall pass in time.

  23. Very nice top -- such a cozy, seasonally appropriate outfit :D

  24. Whoa! That's a lot to go through all in a short time. I'm glad to hear that you're doing ok and to see that your posts are still upbeat. I always enjoyed your voice when you write and the bit of wit you add in. :) I'm sorry to hear about your breakup. It's one of the worst things to go through. I'm glad you were able to go back home and be with your family, especially during Christmas! By the way, this outfit is so perfect for winter. It looks so cozy and the colors are amazing!

  25. Sounds like a sad, but probably healthy, super mature break-up. Sorry to hear it, but also glad you have such great perspective about it! Keep those spirits high, I'm sure there is already a line-up of boys outside your house ;).

  26. Ahh darling, breakups are always awful and tough!! I feel for you my lovely, I ended a relationship this time last year but in hindesight it's the best decision I could have made. I hope nothing but happiness for you!!
    Onto your outfit, you look adorable as per usual. Love the big chunky knit! So cozy :)

  27. ah, so much catching up! i've always thought breaking up would be the very hardest when you both still care very much about each other but really know it's not meant to be. i mean, not like ending up with some major drama would be easy either, but of course there are things that are definite "enders" and I admire you both for making that realization and not keeping it going just because, I'm sure it was so much more difficult than this little post, so know I'm sending a little digital hug your way.

  28. Aaaah, breakups, is there anything more annoying ! You're the first person I hear who doesn't regret their decision and sticks by it, so kudos for that! And I absolutely agree with you, if things don't work well in a relationship why would you want to continue it. Most people get married and try to "fix" it, but it doesn't work that way.

    On a completely different note, I found your blog on Chictopia and just fell in love with your style and blog. You have a unique way of dressing, I love it so much *_*

  29. I'm really sorry to hear about the breakup. That's never an easy thing to go through, but hopefully you'll both be happier.

    On a more positive note, I am loving that sweater of yours. It looks so cozy!!

    xoxo Jackie

  30. Aw honey. That's a lot of tough life stuff going on on top of it being the holiday season which somehow always seems t amplify this stuff. Hope you are doing ok and enjoying being back in Chicago.

  31. Oh, I love outfits in winter that actually look like they could be worn on a winter day! Yet while still being stylish, of course. I love the colour of your skirt and how you belted that sweater! I'm sorry to hear of your relationship ending; it's always sad when a person leaves your life, even if it agreed upon or needed. Best wishes, dear!

  32. It sounds like you've gone through quite a whirlwind of emotions this month! I'm so sorry to hear that you two broke up, but it sounds like it really was the best decision for you. And you're acting like such a mature adult about it, good for you! I'm proud of you for listening to your gut and being honest with yourself.

    Xo, Hannah

  33. Aw I'm sorry to hear about your breakup. That's so many changes to go through in a short period of time. It sounds like you're going to be a-okay though. It's better to break it off than be unhappy in a relationship when you're not tied to one another. I hope things start to settle down for you though!

  34. Aww, I'm sorry to hear about all the stressful changes lately. Hopefully nothing but good things on the horizon! Speaking of good things, this is such a fab look! Festive and ultra cozy. Loving that skirt and the detailing on the top! All the best, Marlen! xo


  35. I know I'm super late in commenting on this, but I'm so sorry for your bittersweetness. I'm glad you feel as though it is the right decision for you both -- that helps tremendously, I imagine! -- but ending relationships sounds so freaking hard and I can't imagine doing that.
    I really admire how calmly it seems you're handling it. I would be such a mess, even if I did know it was the right decision.
    Anyway! Sending you a hug (sideways, because pregnant stomach) from far away!

  36. I have been so incredibly out of the loop. How have things been for you since this post? I hope you're moving into a better space in your life. This shit is hard, but you can do it!


Talk, talk, talk!

f16bf93391' type='text/javascript'/>