South End Summer Day | August 31, 2014 | Comments (1)

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One of my favorite things to do in Boston is to just plunk down in a favorite neighborhood with no plan except to wander and explore. The South End is always a really good place for that, and especially in the summer or fall when you can savor the architecture and bustling streets without much weather-related discomfort. Tons of independent places to eat, drink and window (or really) shop, notoriously queer but far less boisterous than the Castro. Sedate without being dull.

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On this day we started at one of our favorite boutiques for home, Hudson, and ended up at Uniform, a well-curated men’s shop for the casually urbane and in between we stopped for brunch and ice cream.

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This was just a simple sunny day outfit I threw on for aimless roaming, and when we stopped at this little plaza on Tremont by the theaters with its cheerful flowers bursting higher than our heads it was an easy backdrop choice, bumblebees and all.

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On an unrelated note, I desperately need motivation to finish the slew of books I’m currently reading. That they are not motivation enough saddens me. I am spreading myself far too thin between at least a half dozen; Grace: A Memoir by Grace Coddington, Speedboat by Renata Adler, Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami, We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo, The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman and an equestrian book as well as one or two style books.

They are nearly all worthy reads but to be honest, all I want to do is sink back into an old and beloved Salter or reread Hemingway’s The Garden of Eden. Do I just hide the others while I power through one, make M take the whole stack away save one, and only release another if I surrender it finished? I need some sort of strategy because the stack has gotten out of hand, though perhaps the coming change of season will spur me on.

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Brunch was at Aquitane, a place most people recommended but that we just hadn’t quite made it to yet. The cocktails were very well done and the croque-madame and croque-monsieur we ordered were fantastic.

I’m also excited to try Petit Robert after seeing my traditional favorites on the menu – I’m a sucker for a good coq au vin or beef bourguignon and my attempts to make them at home have failed miserably. Until the temps come down from the 90s, though, I’m touching neither with a ten-foot pole!

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Striped Shorts – J. Crew | The Drape Tank in Cream – Everlane x Langley | Galia Sandal – Kensie | Canvas Tote – Hipp & Kirk | Raffia Necklace – Anthropologie | Dean Sunglasses in English Oak – Warby Parker | Bracelets (left to right) – Madewell, J. Crew, Brandy Melville | Druzy Claw Ring – Lauren Wolf

Full disclaimer: I was lucky enough to win the Hipp & Kirk tote from a giveaway they did earlier this summer. It has since become my everyday bag! I love it and have found it so useful and versatile for slinging around town, to the beach or running errands. It’s surprised me how often I use it, but it’s a true story and as a company who makes their products in California, they’re a brand close to my heart. Check them out!

XOXO,
FFAF




SBJ @ 11:06 PM

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Barnstable Babes | August 29, 2014 | Comments (0)

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I have been preoccupied as of late and to the detriment of this blog. I post so erratically these days it’s a wonder any of you come back at all, but you do and I am grateful! By the way, things are wonderful, just busy and new and nonstop, so when body and mind demand a break, I am trying to listen, even if means stepping back from the things that bring me pleasure.

Let’s dive in, then?

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My third summer in New England and at long last I made it to Provincetown in all its midsummer glory. It was just a short visit, but we had a nice little adventure that day.

I can see the appeal – Cape Cod beaches, freewheeling queer abandon, highly walkable everything, the most darling clapboard B&Bs with their cake frosting rose gardens and all sorts of characters – but was a bit taken aback by the touristy feel, which I hadn’t expected (probably very silly of me) and I wasn’t too sad to return to a quiet, spacious Cape house tucked away in the woods at the end of the day. We’ll be back, I’m quite sure of it.

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The tomboy power-clashing barefoot in brickish polka dot Topman shorts and an extreme angler print cotton shirt I found for her at Target. It got many compliments at the beachfront bar. I’m sure people find better things to do than risk tetanus in rotted dock shenanigans when they’re in P-Town, but we’d more or less done them all already and decided it was still a good idea.

I made a mess of French and fishtail braids because I knew how windy and hot it’d be, and got my fair share of compliments, too!

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Watching the big ferry come tearing in from the bay is kind of a terrifying sight! From where we were sitting and having a cocktail it looked like it was going to smash through a few smaller boats and then into where we were sitting, but at the last possible moment turns and heads for the pier and a seemingly endless parade of people begin streaming into town, rolling their suitcases right down the middle of the street.

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These J. Crew earrings have a cantaloupe color scheme that I love, with brushed gold and a little sparkle, and I wore them to dress us this super casual white cotton maxi sundress (even though nobody really dresses up in P-Town, as M was sure to remind me several times).

Did you know the weather is forecast to be in the 80s steadily for the next 10 days, and it’s been that or higher for the past week or so? SUMMER IS NOT OVER. M won’t stop heckling me about fall, hashtag too soon.

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It’s just beautiful there, isn’t it? The colors are incredible – the water, the dunes, the painted boats and weathered wood of the docks and homes, the resilient flora. It all makes for a very enchanting atmosphere, a nice and deliberate, purposeful slowdown. Makes a gal wanna buy a boat and just float away for a while. I hope your summers have been – and continue to be, since the dog days keep a-comin’ – sufficiently if not exceedingly lovely.

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Then there was this little fella! He was quite remarkable and we hope he wasn’t injured at all. I was standing only a few feet away and he was sure to spread his wings just so and turn his head to the angle while I snapped and snapped away. The locals have taught him well, it seems! It was pretty cool.

And now I’m off to call the chimney sweep before sweater weather is here. Better put in our order for some firewood while I’m at it. Shh!

XOXO,

FFAF

 

 




SBJ @ 12:19 AM

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Endless Summer | August 9, 2014 | Comments (1)

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OMG, bring me back to the Cape. Please. These photos are from our end of June sojourn with the family. It’s been five weeks since we left that wondrous vacation house and a whopping, wholly unacceptable four weeks since our last beach day. Sure, we spent an impromptu weekend in Manhattan but summer is feeling not so endless with that much time between seaside jaunts. I need all the oceans and R&R and low tide sunset strolls and too-early morning shark sighting excursions.

We’re gonna fix that Singing Beach style tomorrow, but tonight we head to Boston’s mega-ultra-lesbian-dance-party-deluxe Dyke Night Second Saturdays at Machine (it’s a mouthful, I know) for St. Harridan’s Fashion Show.

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LONG LIVE SKAKET BEACH.

Best damn Cape Cod beach ever, hand to God.

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During vacation, I made the house these warm, drool-worthy, buttery scones for breakfast one morning. My girl KA hooked me up with her incredible chocolate chip scone recipe, and it turns out I can hook you up with it, too, because it’s a Smitten Kitten jam. If you’ve ever made a face at an offensively dry, crusty old scone, try these. They have the perfect structure and balance of light crunch and softness for dunking into coffee or tea, but are wonderfully creamy.

I will say this, though: definitely try either salted sweet cream butter or add a pinch of sea salt or kosher salt, and maybe even a dash of vanilla or something to give them just a touch more dimension in terms of flavor. Then they’re absolutely perfect!

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More Skaket Beach, because it’s so magical and good and the snack shack rules and the sea grasses are so lush and the sand is ultra-soft and sandy.

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The massive wooden deck of the Cape house is surrounded by forest, and at night the frogs croak and fireflies glow and other winged critters sing and it’s just beyond dreamy and calming. Of course, beware the mosquitoes. They’ll suck your blood (they’ll suck your blood). Sometimes your dog might run into the woods and bring back the bones of some unknown previously living thing, but hey! They’re on vacation, too, right? I mean. Yeah. THEY ARE.

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This is like the horror movie shot of the stupid idiot girl who hears a noise and then follows it into the rapidly darkening and terrifying wilderness, “Hello? Hello? I can hear you! Hello?”

Pro tip: I am not that girl. I carry a knife and am much less polite.

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What in god’s name is a trip to the Cape without a community seating lobster supper? Nothing, that’s what. Arnold’s is an institution. You wait in line to order outstanding food and then another line to order an outstanding ridiculous rummy cocktail and then another line for the bring-you-to-your-knees raw bar. It’s for your own good. Pace yourself.

And then go play some GD mini golf with your GD family and work it all off because that is some TRULY WHOLESOME FAMILY OUTING MALARKEY. Allow it.

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I painted my nails this completely beautiful and artistic rendition of The Starry Night for lobsters and sandy dunes and Provincetown. Don’t question me.

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The house came with a big stack of mysterious and very, very delightful LPs and I just happened to bring my little portable turntable along. Thank god, can you imagine my state of torture if I’d happened upon these gems from the 1920s-1970s and didn’t have the Crosley? Pretty sure I would have driven home to fetch it if that had been the case.

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The tomboy took this one of my mama and I after a few rounds of mojitos and big seafood shack dinner. We were sitting in the sunroom listening to The Beatles and my mama’s many Beatles stories. This was a really, really lovely vacation.

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After a long and idyllic day at the beach, simplicity rules. This is an easy little striped cotton dress from Atwell, one of the in-house Gilt brands. It goes great with actual beach waves, a pile of bracelets, and neutral sandals or fuss-free heels – I chose a chunky-heeled leather pair. My little clutch is J. Crew, and ties in with the navy with a nice pop of deep sea green.

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That’s it for now! Did y’all see the FFAF shout-out in Curve Magazine from that dear and gorgeous sweet peach Anita Dolce Vita at dapperQ? She’s such a powerful voice for femmes, and especially femmes of color. Pretty great stuff!

Hope your summers are going swimmingly,

FFAF




SBJ @ 8:11 PM

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Mods vs. Rockers: Hair We Go | July 31, 2014 | Comments (0)

A sweet reader with a gorgeous head of shiny red hair wrote in earlier this week for some hairstyle advice:

“I’m going to this queer Mods vs. Rockers event on Saturday night. I have a black lace shift dress and white tights ready to go but need to do my hair, I was thinking a bouffant updo – which you are the queen of - any top tips/videos to share? I’d be very grateful.”

For research purposes, I clicked on the link she sent and immediately came down with a case of Duckie-induced FOMO. A “post-queer performance and events collective?” Can I have one?! If only my bank account allowed it, I would hop across the pond and attend myself! “Come and have a go if you think you’re hard enough,” the website taunts, “and take sides – Mod or Rocker.”

It sounds like an absolute riot ball and makes me wish parties like it or Bardot A Go Go were more of a thing here, where people went for the music and the style and each other, but it’s a good reminder to dance it out at Soulelujah and Heroes more often. Now, let’s get back to some 60s bouffant hair!

It is so darling that anyone would think I’m the queen of this style, so in the interests of giving the love right back, I’m sharing my words of wisdom in case y’all wanna give it a go-go for a summer event yourselves.

The foundation any gal needs for this look is in a good backcomb and hairspray (good old Elnett will do just fine, but here’s a natural, scent-free option that some femmes seem to like), as well as some nice, strong bobby pins that match your hair color. I have a Spornette Little Wonder and it’s really great, but this one is definitely on my wish list. The great news is that all that stuff is fairly cheap and stuff you’ve probably already got on hand.

My biggest tip with the bobbies is to let it pick up a few strands of hair where you’re going to pin, and then push it out a little tiny bit, and then “lock” it around and in the total opposite direction you started in – you’ll see the grip is 1000x improved that way.

“What the hell is FFAF even trying to say?” you ask.

Why, I’m glad you asked. Here’s a wonderful GIF:

I’ve linked to a few of her tutorials before, but Sidewalk Ready is an incredible resource for all kinds of hairstyles. Hers are super easy to follow and usually shockingly simple to achieve. This is a fast and easy twist, but it’s got a mini bouffant that could be bumped up to the next level, especially with bangs or a few wispy bits pulled out on the sides.

Here’s another for a big old 60s bouffant ponytail.

However, with a black lacy shift and this reader’s lovely hair color, I’m giddy about leaving the hair down with a bow-backed bouffant. Red locks against black lace will be too pretty to handle!

The Beauty Department gives awesome step-by-step instructions on how to get this look here. Gift shops like Paper Source or good old craft stores like Michael’s will usually have inexpensive rolls of printed grosgrain and solid satin or velvet ribbon, and sometimes vintage shops or boutiques will have baskets of notions tucked away in overlooked corners that can be a goldmine for hair accessories.

I hope that was as fun for you as it was for me.

XOXO,
FFAF

PS. Bonus tutorials for other days you feel up for experimenting, lots of every day hairstyles!

PPS. One last thing, a makeup tutorial for an easy 60s look:

 

 




SBJ @ 3:31 PM

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Friendly Reminder | July 25, 2014 | Comments (0)

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Here’s a friendly reminder that I only sporadically remember to give y’all regarding the fact that yes, indeed, Fit for a Femme has a Tumblr. It’s full of curious and pretty and weirdo things (hello, GIF of magnetic metal swallowing a piece of very buttery looking metal, are you even real?), usually related in some way to fashion, feminism or femmes. Enjoy!

Follow FFAF on Tumblr here.

XOXO,
FFAF

 




SBJ @ 11:40 AM

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The heart wants what the heart wants, and what the heart wants is a machine. | July 22, 2014 | Comments (1)

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It’s true we’ve had a busy and bustling summer, but I have a confession to make and it will be punctuated with Carrie Bradshaw JPGs: I’ve spent the last month living in a low-grade state of tech-related terror because my Macbook Air doesn’t seem to want to upgrade to the new OS without completely decimating the past two-and-a-half years of my life, electronically speaking. Including the guts of like half a dozen FFAF posts.

We’re going to attempt emergency partition reconstruction and a few other suggestions from very helpful friends in the next 48 hours, but I’m scared and thinking about all those times I took The Cloud for granted or squandered a shiny, brand new 1TB hard drive, letting its squished and unopened box gather dust in a neglected corner of the office. I thought I could fix it with an ethernet cable, I really did.

Hug your computers, today, guys. You don’t have to live like this. Okay? Okay.

Let’s talk summer favorites. Everlane is at it again with a new Everlane x Langley collaboration of pitch-perfect tomboy femme muscle tees ($28) and drape tanks ($24). I got my hands on the latter in a creamy slub cotton that almost gives it a softly heathered look, and now it’s waitlisted in the navy as well. The muscle tee, definitely a more androgynous but no less awesome version, is in stock in all sizes and colors. The weight and tailoring give them a lot of polish, and you can’t beat the cost per wear.

My new BFF: J. Crew’s Lillian Mirror Low Wedge in Metallic Gold. I have a few flat sandals for summer that are fine for schlepping around a beach house or on errands or a sunset stroll to the Charles, but fail to give an outfit the kind of polish I require to feel minimally presentable. (Weird personal preference, I know.) These definitely do the trick with a little lift and a lot of luxe, and are the perfect compromise between a casual flat sandal and a pair of bona fide heels. Yay!

A lot of skincare products talk a big game but deliver mediocre results, and I haven’t got the patience (or, frankly, the wallet) for all that. I had the chance to try the new Resynchronizing Skincare suite from Chanel back in June and wasn’t expecting any miracles. Well, damn it, now I’m hooked on La Nuit, the overnight product from the trio (the others are Le Jour and Le Weekend De Chanel).

The others were alright, but every time I went to bed with this on, my skin felt changed immediately, and even better in the morning. Softer, radiant and glowing. I used an even lighter hand than usual with my favorite CCs, and went totally barefaced more often. Considering how little I used, the $85 price tag doesn’t seem outrageous – I’d be surprised if the bottle didn’t last six months to a year.

Speaking of CCs, this is my summer jam (and might even be a year-round romance, who knows). I know Supergoop! isn’t at all the same as Gwyneth’s goop, but I always just kind of rolled my eyes at the brand because of the lazy name association, I guess. Which is really rude! I’m so sorry! I won’t do it again!

I was in Miniluxe, waiting to settle my bill one day when I decided to try their CC Cream. The swatch was so impressive that I tried it on my squeaky clean visage and went about my day. Hours later I did a double-take when I passed a mirror – I’d forgotten I had it on, my skin looked amazing, and I actually racked my brain for a second wondering what I’d done differently that morning! Derp. That kind of gorgeous-but-natural staying power plus SPF35 in one clever package? Sold. The only downside I can think of is the limited shade selection. I wear the darkest shade, Medium to Dark, and that’s absurd. I do love it for how it lifts and brightens so dramatically. MAKE MORE SHADES, SUPERGOOP!

We’ve all been here, right? Don’t lie. My ultimate black liner evolution started with Laura Mercier’s Tightline Cake Liner, moved to various dalliances in potted gel versions, Urban Decay’s 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil (first in Zero, then Perversion, which I still love), a fling with Eyeko’s Skinny and Eye Do liners, and then, once it seemed I might never find The One, the lash boosting safety and idiot-proof awesomeness of Physician’s Formula Eye Booster™ 2-in-1 Lash Boosting Eyeliner + Serum brought me to my knees, and for a cool $10.

It made me wonder what the hell I was ever doing with Laura Mercier. Just like we all have that weirdo ex that makes us cringe, so it is with makeup. My “beauty uniform” involves ultra-light coverage, Benefit PosieTint or Guerlain Terracotta Blush Sun Shimmer Highlighter in Spicy Coral, and a swipe of mascara and brow gel with a kitten eye, so a good liner I can throw on quickly is non-negotiable.

I was very intrigued by the new Benefit They’re Real Push-Up Liner. I find the mascara brittle and hateful, but the crazy concept of the liner was too exciting not to try. After the first few attempts to do it myself at home, though, I completely gave up. The clicky part was weird! It came out all funny! What the hell angle are you supposed to hold this doohickey at, anyway?!via sharonthemakeupartist.com

HINT: There is way too much product coming out of the tip in this photo!

I ignored it for two weeks, and then picked it up again. This time I clicked and no product came out, so I squeezed the rubber bit gently angrily and lo! the tiniest amount of liner peeked out. I started a cateye. It was perfect. Completely pitch black, a beautifully clean line, and it doesn’t budge. So that’s the trick! For every click, I squish appx. 3-4x, and I’d estimate using a single click per eye.

I think it’s a total game changer because it makes the retro runway cateye look really accessible, and pops like crazy in photos. With a killer mascara - I’m in love with Kevyn Aucoin’s ‘The Essential’ Mascara – you don’t need falsies at all.

Last and definitely least, we’ve fallen into the kind of stupor that only binge-watching The L Word from Season One can provide. I am ashamed and horrified to tell you that we are somehow starting Season Five. THE HEART WANTS WHAT THE HEART WANTS.




SBJ @ 9:31 PM

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Old Glory & Gingham | July 4, 2014 | Comments (1)

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Since my last post, a very comfortable June sailed into July on a hot slick of humidity. We escaped the brunt of it last week in a marvelous little Cape house and on a handful of fantastic beaches – one on the bay side, one planted firmly at the easternmost point of Cape Cod, braced at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, and finally in Provincetown proper. It was probably our Cape Coddiest vacation yet, with lobsters the hue of Stila’s Tesoro, body surfing, wishful shark sightings, big family meals and games, historical points of interest visits and treks to the lake down the road. Dreamy stuff.

We left yesterday (quite reluctantly, even with a tropical storm hurtling toward us) just in time to escape that patriotic party crasher Hurricane Arthur, and barely made it to the banks of the Charles River for the Boston Pops fireworks show last night. Phew! Happy 3rd of 4th of July, then?

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Now I’m not the world’s most patriotic gal (and considering the current war on women that is quite the understatement), but I do love a good theme outfit. Why not throw on a good old red gingham ruffled Americana frock with a glittery, star-spangled twist on the Statue of Liberty crown? Even if she might’ve gone whole hog and worn red (or blue?) glitter heels instead of the conservative nude wedge route, I feel Dolly would be proud.

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When I say we barely made it to the fireworks, I mean barely. We were a group of seven and driving and parking would have been madness and really expensive, so we crammed into an Uber SUV and got dropped off as close to the barricades and blocked-off streets as we could. We stopped just before the Mass Ave bridge, spread our blanket out on the lawn a few feet away from the river, and just as we settled onto it the first firework went soaring overhead. We were so close that we could see the great big flashes from where they were launched off the barge on the water. Some crazy dude on a floatie for a tiny child braved ‘that dirty water’ and floated away, followed by his equally crazy girlfriend on a shark floatie (which promptly capsized) in her bikini. The crowds were tame and polite and didn’t feel very crowded at all, and a couple of youths raising money for school cooled us off with bottled water and happily took our photo.

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The finale was awesome but felt a little rushed, which it turned out to be, and almost as soon as they ended one of us spied a flash in the distance and wondered if it was lightning. Worried that it might be, we decided to hightail it to the nearest hotel lobby, and with every step we took the lightning strikes came down faster and closer, thunder rumbling. We had no idea whatsoever that police were evacuating crowds to seek emergency shelter on the Boston side of the river!

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Just as we stepped under the hotel’s awning, one final crack split the sky open, we heard people screaming nearby and it started to absolutely pour. A few seconds later dozens of already-drenched people started to stream toward the hotel, most of them laughing and giddy (it was insanely hot out), a few brave souls stopping to just reach for the heavens and let it happen. The bellman rushed out with a massive stack of fluffy white hand towels, issuing them to grateful guests. I checked Uber obsessively as the pricing surged to 4.0x and the storm raged on, but we just sat and waited awhile and eventually got home safe and dry and utterly exhausted.

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Since we had such a great big week with a grandiose finale, and with rain forecast for the entire day, we’re having a much-needed day of restful vacation. World Cup is on, the A/C is on, the daiquiris are made, and if our patio umbrella hadn’t smashed a hole in our dining room window while we were away last night, we’d open that sucker up over the grill and BBQ in the rain. ‘MURRICA! Plan B! There’s a sickening Hobby Lobby x Supreme Court joke in there somewhere! Hope everyone has a great (and safe) 4th out there today!

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Gingham Seersucker Dress (here’s a cute one in black, and a few under $40) – Tulle | Star Crown Headband – J. Crew (similar here) | Nude Patent Wedges – BCBG Generation

Here are some fireworks from last night!

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XOXO,

FFAF




SBJ @ 1:48 PM

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