Piña colada smoothie

I had a craving for piña coladas one day, and thought I'd try making them. There were two approaches that came to mind: use frozen coconut milk as the base, or use frozen pineapple juice as the base. Neither sounded creamy enough for what I was going for. Then I remembered our market stocks haupia ice cream (haupia is a traditional Hawaiian coconut-based dessert, not traditionally in ice cream form). Yes! Not to worry, though. If you can't find haupia ice cream, there is another way about it.

Honeycrisp apple sauce

The best apple sauce I ever had was from a bake sale I stumbled upon. It was farmland in every direction, and I suspect those apples went straight from a backyard tree into the jar. I've wanted to try making apple sauce at home ever since. This recipe from The Pioneer Woman is a pretty good place to start. I had to modify the recipe a little because I have only one small pan at the moment and only so many apples will fit in it. It makes a delicious apple sauce, and fills the whole house with the fragrance of cinnamon-y lemons and apples. Yum!

Happy Halloween!

Photo credits, second from top to end: Michael Styne; Navin; Yuriy Kuzin; U.S. Army.

Classic Birkenstocks for small feet

Kids' Birkenstock® Arizona sandals at J.Crew

If you have small feet and want to try the Birkenstock trend, J.Crew now has kids sizes in stock (larger sizes backordered) in the Arizona style with 'midnight sand' (dark brown) synthetic uppers. One reviewer said they wore size 5.5, so I assume they got the size K3. Do they run large, then? I think they at least run wide. Here is another source for size 35 in women's with 'golden brown' synthetic upper.

Orange cran-apple kale salad

Flipping through magazines, I came across a recipe for "Kale Salad with Oranges, Cranberries, and Maple Toasted Walnuts" in this month's O Magazine that sounds delicious and thought I'd give it a whirl. And then I forgot the walnuts. Instead, I substituted in chopped Honeycrisp apples. You could use any apple variety with a good crunch. After making the version below, I'm certain that maple-y chopped walnuts would be like freshly whipped cream on a pumpkin spice latte - not absolutely necessary, but totally worth having to clean the extra appliances and dishes.

The perfect vintage relaxed t-shirt

J.Crew Garment-dyed Pocket T-shirt in 'warm chicory'
After browsing the t-shirt selection at five stores, I have found the perfect relaxed tee in a vintage feel cotton. The J.Crew Garment-dyed Pocket T-shirt is currently available in nine colors down to a size XXXS. It's slouchy and not too long. And guys, it's made in Los Angeles! Size up one, two, even three sizes to get a slouchier, more relaxed fit.


From left, clockwise: J.Crew Sparrow Embellished Linen and Cotton Blend Dress, limited sizes available; turban from Amazon; Prada 55mm Round Sunglasses, but this one is more petite friendly.

To be honest, the colors that first come to mind when I think Tahiti are blue and red, probably because of Hinano. Yet here is a photo set with yellow tones, punctuated by the image of tahitian dancers in yellow costume, so I immediately think of J.Crew's sequined yellow Sparrow dress. I see it with a black turban and large, round Iris Apfel-esque glasses. It feels like summer somewhere.

What do/would you pack for the tropics?

Photo credits, from top, excluding collage: Adapted from 'Luxury Tahiti Resorts' by Roderick Eime; adapted from 'fougére de Tahiti / fern from Tahiti' by LOLO FROM TAHITI; adapted from 'IMG_7972' by RobB7; adapted from 'Canoe Pageant: Tahiti' by LuxTonnerre; adapted from 'Tahitian Gardenia - tiare' by troy mckaskle; adapted from 'Tikehau, archipel des Tuamotus' by Benoit Mahe. Any derivative works licensed same as the original. All views expressed in this post are solely my own.

Thank you for reading.

Polka dots

Forever21 Polka Dot Popover Nightdress
Rock a lot of polka dots for under twenty dollars with this chic night shirt (it fits more like a shirt than a dress) by Forever21. This shirt runs small (see the other product photos), which is perfect for petites. The fabric is 100 percent rayon, hand wash cold. There is black trim on the placket, pocket and sleeves - a nice touch you expect from higher price-point products. Size up to as much as the Large to achieve a regular sleeve length, boxier fit, and longer length.

While we are on the subject of polka dots...this Pleated Midi Skirt in Mini Dot from J.Crew has a nice thick, silky poly fabric and is 25 percent off now with code SALETREAT. Ann Taylor has the Dotted Crepe Shirtdress, mostly well reviewed so far, for 50 percent off now with code FALL50, and all Petite sizes are in stock.

DIY aromatherapy hand soap

I love buying soaps for the pretty packaging, dreamy scent names, and those foam dispensers, but they can be pretty concentrated and the fragrances can be quite strong. After being introduced to essential oils, and using them to make rosewater and other scented sprays, it occurred to me that you could use essential oils to add fragrance to soaps. It's very easy to do!

An easy-to-throw-on casual dress perfect for fall

Socialite Knit Swing Dress in 'Burgundy'.

I am always on the lookout for casual dresses in simple silhouettes. This Knit Swing Dress by Socialite fits the bill and comes in five colors perfect for fall. It's an easy, comfortable, figure flattering silhouette to wear. The fabric is a super soft rayon-spandex blend (hand wash, line dry). Reviews say it runs short, but expect it to hit a reasonable and stylish two to three inches above the knee if you are petite.

Sunday no. 6

Photo credit: Adapted from 'wind' by Mel Stoutsenberger.
Any derivative works licensed same as original. All views expressed in this post are solely my own.

Yes, please: Pilcro Stet Ankle Jeans

Pilcro Stet Ankle Jeans
The Pilcro Stet Ankle Jeans at Anthropologie are a great medium wash skinny jean for petites. The fit is skinny, but not too skinny. The 26 inch inseam ankle length translates to the perfect length with no hemming needed, just as shown on the model in the photo above. There is no bunching at the knees, just a slimming and sleek silhouette. The 8.25 inch midrise is high enough to be modern, but low enough to be complementary to your figure. The pockets are to scale. A soft and wearable cotton-poly-spandex blend, the only thing I'm not sure about is how much they stretch throughout the day. If you are looking for a skinny medium wash ankle jean, you will love these.

J.Crew final sale picks

The J.Crew 40 percent off final sale continues through Sunday with code LAYERUP. Here are some potentially good deals for petites.

Chai tea

The varied shapes and fragrances of the ingredients for chai are fun to work with, many of them derived from trees. This recipe is adapted from a recipe for concentrate, and influenced by other recipes (from epicurious and Martha Stewart). I'm still experimenting to get the right balance of flavors.

Mrs. Doubtfire

From top left, clockwise: Collection Cashmere Cardigan Sweater in pale pink; Leather Loafers, starting at size 5.5; Collection Chunky Marled Cardigan Sweater; Pleated Midi Skirt in Mini Dot; Piqué Bib Shirt. All J. Crew. For a shoe in smaller sizes, try this one by David Tate, or this other one by Naturalizer.

Inspired by Mrs. Doubtfire.

Sunday no. 5

Photo credit: Adapted from 'Golden Hour at the Grand Canyon National Park' by Nan Palmero.
Any derivative work licensed same as original. All views expressed in this post are solely my own.

Yes, please: J.Crew Minnie

J.Crew Minnie Pant in Stretch Twill, also in Regular, Tall, and Maternity.

When I found a used twill Minnie pant for less than twenty dollars, I did not expect that they would become an essential piece in my wardrobe. The Minnie makes everything else I pair with it effortlessly chic. The substantial twill fabric and faux besom pockets place these firmly in the pant category, yet they are stretchy like a second skin and as comfortable as leggings (I still only pair them with longer tops, though). The cropped length is flattering, modern, and actually cropped on petites.

Growing oat grass

Growing cat grass is easy and inexpensive. There seems to be a number of different grasses cats like to eat judging by the options at the local hardware store, including mixes of different grasses. I am growing oat grass here, but this procedure should work for other grasses as well as a mix of different grasses (just mix the seeds together first).

Farmers' market totes under $100

IKEA NIPPRIG 2015 beach bag, seagrass. Photo credit: Wander Hour.
I'm hoarding large totes now that my city has banned plastic grocery bags and some places are charging for bags at check-out. Why not hoard bags that look nice?

You can't get more style for your buck than with the $4.99 IKEA NIPPRIG bag made of woven seagrass, as evidenced by the photo of it above by Wander Hour. Here's a similar Madewell one on EBay for just $36 plus shipping.

J.Crew's straw market tote is a smaller woven option, with leather handles and a beautiful shape. Here's a similar one from Urban Outfitters.

UO has a few other nice choices in suede and linen and recycled leather.

For leather options, I like this one and this one. For faux leather, this one by Gap is stylish and priced right.

Other places to check for good deals are EBay and Etsy.

Sunday no. 4

Photo credit: Adapted from 'Golden Palm Trees' by Edmund Garman.
Any derivative works licensed same as original. All views expressed in this post are my own.

J.Crew 40 percent off Day Five sale picks

J.Crew's Five Fall Days, Five Surprise Sales is closing out with 40 percent off final sale with code DAYFIVE.

The five items above are four to five-star reviewed and are left in small sizes at amazing prices:

Collection silk twill shell in jungle - 000 and 00 available, $159.99 plus 40% off with code DAYFIVE
(final sale)

Favorite tank - XXS, $15.00 plus 40% off with code DAYFIVE

Belted oxford dress - 000, $99.99 plus 40% off with code DAYFIVE
(final sale)

Gold foil leaf pencil skirt - 000P, $39.99 plus 40% off with code DAYFIVE
(final sale)

Silk zip tank top - 000 and 00 available, $79.50 plus 40% off with code DAYFIVE

Looks for less: J.Crew Two-tone Pleated Combo Dress

This midi skirt from Zara reminds me of the J.Crew Two-toned Pleated Combo Dress in stores now. Just add a white sleeveless blouse. And here's a pleated wool skirt from Etsy in a similar style with a 25 in waist.

October wishlist

From top left, clockwise: Target Halloween Pumpkin Decor - Large; Urban Outfitters Taj Wall Mirror; Urban Outfitters Firefly String Lights or Extra Long Firefly String Lights; West Elm Globalist Tin Candle in black coriander; West Elm Radius Planter.

This month, I am loving white pumpkins, gold accents, and candles that smell like fall in a jar. I also can't stop looking at these fashion finds (see below). J.Crew is having five sales over the five days of this week. Today's deal is 30 percent off select fall styles, including the Dot Square top. (I wonder what tomorrow's deal will be?) Ann Taylor is offering 40 percent off your entire purchase until 3 AM today.

Pumpkin spice latte

Everyone likes to talk about pumpkin spice lattes at this time of year, so when I found a recipe, I knew I had to try making it. A good base recipe to use as a starting point is this one.

Four fall trends

LOFT Side Slit Duster

Vests, dusters, tie-neck blouses, and tweed: here are some options for petites.

Long vests

Vests are back this season. In addition to this draped version, here is another option from Anthropologie (and a third), and one from WHBM. Ann Taylor also has one, but the smallest size is regular XXS. The wool content may make it shrinkable in the dryer, but proceed with caution if you try that!

Sunday no. 3

Photo credit: Adapted from '20101002-DSC_0284.jpg' by john.beil. Any derivative works licensed same as the original. All views expressed in this post are solely my own.

Inexpensive abstract fabric art

When you have a blank wall that needs to be filled with some artwork, but don't want to spend a lot, one thing you can do is make your own artwork. An easy way to do this quickly with few materials is to use fabric scraps to create an abstract pattern.


From ruddy reds to azure blues, the color palette of Morocco has much to offer. This outfit features earthy tones mixed with gold metallics and patterns reminiscent of Moroccan architecture.

Annie Hall

From top left, clockwise: J.Crew Rhodes Blazer in Houndstooth; J.Crew Favorite Shirt; J.Crew [Men's] Italian Silk Tie in Large Dots; WHBM Petite Seasonless Vest; J.Crew Floppy Felt Hat; J.Crew Straw Market Tote.

Inspired by Annie Hall.

J. Crew October 2015 Style Guide collage

Created from the October 2015 J. Crew Style Guide.


(Click on the photos to link to their respective creators.)

ASOS 00/1 right now