Bubble Butt

Weather in Florida can be fickle, so it’s a rare day when I experience the pleasure/obligatory vexation of wearing tights. I actually had a 10-minute conversation with my neighbor the other day about my sincere abhorrence of tights. I really don’t like to wear anything too restrictive (I also hate turtlenecks).

black skirt full shot back

On the days they are unavoidable, I wear a pair by Spanx. I know, I know-it’s counterintuitive: I hate restrictive clothing, yet go for the most restrictive version of said clothing. But I really like the finish of the Spanx version, and the waistband doesn’t roll like some other brands I’ve tried.

black skirt top

To wear black and still make a statement, look for interesting cuts or textures. I bought this black skirt in Belgium, and have just fallen in love with it and its bubble-shaped imprints (the sales clerks were probably thinking, “Crazy American!” as I tested its twirliness factor). Bonus: it has a gorgeous pink silk lining, which I adore (there’s a special place in my heart for the designer who considers details that aren’t immediately apparent to everyone).

black skirt shirt wrap

Years ago, I saw a shirt wrapped like this and immediately took to wearing all my button-downs this way. I’m glad to see the trend is back in rotation, just make sure you employ the services of a strategically-placed safety pin before venturing out into public!



Mattress-ticking shirt: Generic, thrifted for $1 (yes, you read that correctly).

Black Skirt:

Belt: Saks Fifth Avenue, thrifted.

Tights: Spanks Assets, via Target.

Shoes: Lauren Ralph Lauren.

Necklace worn as bracelet: Sorrelli.

Shades: Betsey Johnson.


Green Jeweled Skirt

I bought this skirt from local boutique 5th and Hall shortly after Corsten was born. I hadn’t yet lost all my baby weight, but I couldn’t wait to have something pretty to wear again (I burned all my maternity leggings the minute I could).

Green skirt waist up

However, buying it at the size I needed 8 months ago meant that it no longer fit by December (hallelujah! Thank you, planks). So I took it to my favorite tailor and had them take it in. Voila! New skirt.


green skirt full shot

It’s finally cold enough here to wear tights, but that doesn’t stop me from wearing peep-toe shoes.


green skirt head shot

I’ve been seeing “palm bracelets” everywhere, so I just bent a cuff I already had to fit my palm. I like the look, but I think I’d have to keep it on my left hand; trying to write with one would be too annoying.

What do you think of palm bracelets? Would you wear one?



Ivory thermal top, Victoria’s Secret.

Jeweled skirt, 5th and Hall.

Earrings, thrifted.

Bracelet, I don’t remember.

Shoes, Cole Haan.


Ghent was beautiful in a different way than Bruges; each city had its own personality. At night, the entire city is lit, making it perfect for a romantic walk on the cobblestone streets.

Green windows yellow coat

Remember my love for doors? It’s exceeded only by my love for color-coordinated buildings topped with storytelling sculpture.

I picked up this stunning bright yellow coat by a Danish designer in Bruges and it it so warm! I can’t wait to have it perfectly tailored; I can already tell it’s going to earn it’s keep in my wardrobe.


telescope on castle turret

If you like architecture, you’ll love Ghent. There are so many superbly-designed buildings to check out, and many of them have marvelous views of the city.


church ceiling

I would advise you to check out the gorgeous cathedrals, but I haven’t yet thought of a word adequate to describe their beauty. Pulchritudinous? Resplendent? Prepossessing? The Thesaurus is failing me here. Just go see them. Bring a handkerchief (you can find an elegant lace one at the shop around the corner).


tethered boat

Seriously. Way cool buildings. And boats. Boats everywhere. Swoon.



mustard pour

When Shane visited Ghent last year, he brought home some mustard from a little shop called Tierenteyn-Verlent. Tucked away in the corner of a square, they’ve been making this mouthwatering mustard for generations in huge barrels, from which they freshly dispense it when you place your order. We bought several containers as gifts for family and friends (and of course some for ourselves!). If I share a bit of this mustard with you, you know I consider you a true friend (I don’t give it away to just anyone)!


gas mask angel

I love how Ghent has a knack for mixing historic and modern elements. This angel atop the wall of a former monastery warns of the dangers of environmental pollution.


vibrant cherry blossoms

The most beautiful flowering trees covered in vibrant green moss blanketed the town. Absolutely gorgeous.

Ghent was a lover’s paradise, and I haven’t even talked about the food. Photographing one’s food is not seen as an acceptable hobby there, so you’ll just have to take my word that every bite was mouthwatering.



Acid-yellow coat, Bitte Kai Rand.


After a year of intense focus on keeping another human alive, Shane and I decided it was time to take a little trip as a couple. He had a work trip in France, so it was decided that I would meet him afterwards in Bruges and we would spend a little time in Europe.

My flight suit was super comfortable, but after 17 hours of travelling in it, I decided to change into “real clothes.”

Christina against teal door navy coat


The weather in Bruges (pro tip-the locals call it Brugge; pronounced like Brew-hu with a rolled r) was pretty grey, but to make up for it the doors were brightly colored. Since I have a thing for cheerful doors (orange on a grey building is my favorite), most of my photos involved standing by a door that I found intriguing for whatever reason.

Christina white bldg navy coat

At one point in our first day in Bruges, Shane asked if I’d like to get a hot chocolate. I said no, but he insisted I try one.

PEOPLE, a Belgian hot chocolate is unlike any hot chocolate you’ve ever had. It is heaven in a cup. They melt the solid chocolate into the milk right in front of you, and give you a spoon encased in chocolate to stir it with. I’m converted.

lace spools

Belgium is known for its lace. I was really hoping to tour a lace-making factory before meeting up with Shane, but this was as close as I got. Apparently, the art is not as widely-practiced as it once was. I wouldn’t call my personal style particularly lacy, but found the painstaking process of crafting the intricate designs intriguing.

christina bridge

Bruges is full of canals, and there are interesting bridges everywhere. I fantasize about living over the water; can you imagine hearing the water lap underneath you as you lay down to sleep in this house?

dragon vane

The Maison le Dragon is officially my favorite place in the world. Next time I visit (and there WILL be a next time!), I plan to hole myself up in the sitting room next to the fireplace (or perhaps on the private patio, or in the mammoth four-poster bed), reading and writing to my heart’s content. Its golden weather vane topped with a dragon is like a beacon leading you back home from anywhere in the city. Boasting a select four suites, the owners Emmanuel and Maka ensure it’s the most peaceful little sanctuary.

Check out Girl About Downtown on Instagram for some more fun pics from Bruges.

Next stop, Ghent.



Navy Wool Coat, MICHAEL Michael Kors (via Burlington coat factory and tailored within an inch of its life).

Gloves, Leopard calf-hair, Banana Republic.

Jeans, Level 99, Hattie’s Branches.

Nude Flats, Franco Sarto, TJ Maxx.

Earrings, Silver (I don’t remember where I bought them).

Shades, Betsey Johnson, TJ Maxx.

Handknit hat, Boondock Studios.



I’m going to be wearing this a lot

black kimono3

Every once in a while you happen upon an article of clothing so perfect, you wish you could buy it in ten colors.


I picked up this floaty belted kimono top on a quick jaunt to local boutique Hattie’s Branches, and feel like I could wear it every day for the next year.

black kimono1

Another favorite is the Brixton hat that found me at Bearcat & Big 6 at 801 E. Main. I’ve never been drawn to wide-brimmed hats until I saw this one, and it’s rarely been separated from my head since (bonus: it has absolutely the PERFECT pinch!).


Floaty silk kimono top, Hattie’s Branches.

Boyfriend jeans, GAP.

Metallic oxfords, Calvin Klein.

Brixton hat, Bearcat & Big 6.

Silver pop-tab bag, Sisters United with custom strap from Boondock Studios.

Silver earrings, TJ Maxx.

Gothic ring, Marshalls.