Winter Reading

Winter book recommendations

So many sites do round-up of the best “beach reads” every summer, but isn’t winter really the ideal reading season? It’s chilly outside, so why not offer up some winter book recommendations to curl up with?

I’ve recently acquired two new books that are perfect companions for gloomy weather, and I highly recommend adding them to your bookshelf or bedside table!

Cured, a memoir by Lol Tolhurst of The Cure
Cured, a memoir by Lol Tolhurst of The Cure

Cured: The Tale of Two Imaginary Boys

I’m sure it’s no surprise that I’m a huge fan of The Cure (and have been since the age of 12), so naturally I just had to pick up this new autobiography from founding member and former Cure drummer Lol Tolhurst. In this memoir, Lol share stories from the band’s early days and his decades-long relationship with Robert Smith. Robert himself isn’t one for sharing, so chances are you won’t come across this level of intimacy and transparency on the band’s past anywhere else.

Gross & Unlikeable, a collection of short horror stories by women writers
Gross & Unlikeable, a collection of short horror stories by women writers

Gross & Unlikeable

If you’re a fan of literary horror and dark fiction, you know that women are all too often underrepresented in this genre. Thankfully, the San Diego-based literary organization So Say We All has put together this amazing collection of short stories, written, edited and illustrated entirely by women. In these 28 creepy and sometimes grotesque stories, women take us to dark places we’re not supposed to go, telling tales of their bodies and minds in their own terms. Be warned: the combination of female power and horror is brutal and savage…and completely worth reading.

 

Dark Summer Shopping Guide

resort goth shopping guide

Summer can be a bummer when black is your favorite color. Black isn’t exactly the most comfy choice when the temperatures soar, and all that exposed skin threatens your perfectly pale complexion. But fear not, our dark summer shopping round up will help you cultivate the ultimate resort goth look while the rest of the world dons their colorful sundresses!

dark beach and resort fashion

1. Ab Lines 45 Black Beach Towel by Project M. 2. Crucia hat by Aldo. 3. ASOS Fabienne Studded Black Sandals. 4. AJ Morgan Round Metal Trim Sunglasses. 5. Funboy Inflatable Swan Pool Float. 6. Cleobella Mystic Dress. 7. Seafolly Double Dot Beach Tote Bag. 8. EiR Surf Mud + Zinc, perfect for protecting pale skin and dark hair!

Resort Goth: Black Mesh Takes Over Swimwear

summer goth all black swimwear

Summer can be quite a challenge for those of us that prefer pale skin and black layers to tans and floral jumpsuits. But I do love lounging by a pool, especially when there is a well-stocked bar nearby. Fortunately, this summer’s swimwear collections are bursting with black mesh details, perfect for a goth-friendly summer getaway.

My latest discovery is Australia’s Seafolly. Their Mesh About collection features a variety of fishnet-inspired styles available in black.

Seafolly's Mesh About swimwear collection
Seafolly’s Mesh About swimwear collection

La Blanca’s current line is also chock full of black mesh details this season. You can find La Blanca at a lot of major retailers too, if shopping online for swimwear isn’t your preference.

La Blanca black mesh one piece swimwear
Black mesh one pieces are a big part of La Blanca’s swimwear line.

Carmen Marc Valvo is riding the mesh wave this season, too. I love this interesting one-piece option, particular for the full coverage cut on the bottom. So much of this season’s swimwear features super high cuts on the bottom with lots of cheek showing. I’ve got no gripe with other women sporting such revealing bottoms — if that’s what your comfortable with, go for it! But if you’re like me, and your buns and thighs are not your favorite feature, here’s a suit option that might suit you better.

Carmen Marc Valvo black mesh one piece swim
Carmen Marc Valvo black mesh one piece

One more fabulous option that can’t be overlooked comes from Altar PDX. The Portland-based shop’s Hourglass swimsuit is part of their houseline, and I recently learned that you can order one custom built to your measurements at no extra charge! And at $77, that’s a pretty darn good value.

Altar PDX black mesh one piece swimsuit
Altar Houseline Hourglass Swimsuit

Now comes a really tough challenge: finding interesting, dark-inspired swimwear for men! Got any tips? Be sure to send them my way!

Dark Victorian Glamour at San Diego’s Britt Scripps Inn

We’re not all beach people. Some of us actually prefer rainy skies to sunny days. If that describes you and you’re looking for a place to stay in San Diego that prioritizes wrought iron over beach cabanas, then the Britt Scripps Inn might just be for you. The Victorian San Diego hotel resides in the uptown Banker’s Hill neighborhood, placing it close to the airport and downtown and within walking distances of one of San Diego’s most iconic sites, Balboa Park.

The Britt Scripps Inn in San Diego

Dating back to 1887, the historic property seems to have maintained much of its original splendor. While you will find a modern travel brochure rack in the lobby and a few plastic chairs in the garden, everything else about the hotel feels like stepping back in time.

stainedglass2

One of the building’s most striking features is the staircase, flanked by a tryptic stained glass window. Each section of the window seems to represent a different time of day: morning, midday, and evening.

stainedglass
Did you notice the little stained glass bat? He welcomed us into the hall with each departure from our room!

Each room is different, with different decor and color schemes. We stayed in the Balboa, which is the largest of the rooms and includes a small balcony. From the light fixtures to the claw footed bathtub to the carved wooden armoire, the details of the room are delightful.

bedroom2

Britt Scripps Inn bathroom
The details in the bathroom were downright charming

A few things to note if you’re planning a visit: the hotel is actually rather small, and functions more like a bed and breakfast than traditional hotel. You won’t find ice machines, vending machines, minibars, mini-fridges, an exercise room or room service. There is heating and air conditioning, and I found the room to be pretty quiet. There’s also a made-to-order breakfast which is included with your stay, though if you’re like me and don’t go to bed until the wee hours, you’ll sleep past the breakfast cut-off time of 9:30 a.m.

For my next stay, I’m definitely going to have to book the Gothic Room. It wasn’t available during my recent stay, but it looks positively dreamy!

Britt Scripps Inn Gothic Room
Decor goals: the Gothic Room at the Britt Scripps Inn

Currently Coveting: Minimalist Metal Jewelry

osteal crescent moon necklace

The right piece of jewelry is an essential part of any outfit. Recently I was shopping with a friend, and I tried on a little black dress – a ’20s-inspired silhouette with a dropped waist and some ruffle details. “It’s cute,” my friend commented, “but you’ll have to wear some tough jewelry to tone down the girliness of the ruffles.” She was right; adding a heavy metal necklace made it look much better.

Working in a fairly conservative office, my jewelry is also a way for me to add some edge to my “office appropriate” outfits. While I’ve been known to sport a skull ring or two to a meeting, even a very basic, minimal piece of jewelry can bring add a hard edge to your look, and I’m totally obsessed with subtle but strong minimalist metal jewelry.

I already own one necklace by Osteal Jewelry and it’s quickly become one of my favorite pieces. Unlike the larger crescent moon necklace that I already have (seen above), these stamped brass necklaces are delicate but still maintain a raw quality.

Capture

 

Wolf + Sadie is another brand that nails modern minimalism with their pieces. This stem finger duster ring is somehow both subtle and extreme.

wolf + sadie minimalist metal ring

 

Speaking of rings, Elemental Luxury’s collection is full of gems (both figurative and literal). This Tibetan phantom quartz ring is currently on sale, which makes it even more appealing. I really love the silver cross paired with it in this shot, even if it’s not currently available in their Etsy store.

Elemental Luxury rings

 

If there’s one shop that I’ve fallen head over heels for, it’s the Small Beast. ¬†These triangular bangles are simple with subtle texture details and would definitely be eye-catching when worn. And I love the aesthetic of their Omen necklace, which also features some delicate rough textures on top of its clean lines.

the small beast minimalist metal bracelets

the small beast minimalist metal cross necklace

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some shopping to do…

totop