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A note: like all my “pin reviews,” this is not sponsored in any way and merely reflects my desire to share my whimsical adventures in collecting small metallic works of art. Onward! 

I remember a brief period in my preteen life when all “friendship”-themed accessories – handmade bracelets, necklace pendants that matched, and of course the quintessential “broken-in-half” charms – absolutely transfixed me. Considering that I am now more than a decade away from being twelve, perhaps it’s a little unusual that I, a grown adult woman, wanted to share this set of pins with my grown adult sweetheart for Valentine’s Day…but I suppose I am more than a little unusual by nature.

And I can’t resist a good cetacean-themed accessory.

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scenes from a sail

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As someone who cultivates an association with the ocean throughout all she does, I must confess that I can count the number of times I’ve actually traversed the sea on one hand. Unlike the protagonists of The Wind in the Willows, I lack much experience with “messing about in boats.”

You can imagine, then, what a deeply moving and exhilarating experience I enjoyed on this recent sailing adventure during my trip home! Flat water, clear skies, and a few humpback whales passing through (captured in all their glory thanks to my zoom lens!) made for a most enchanting morning.

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social morays

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Sometimes you just need to escape to Long Island Sound for a day and spend some quality time hanging out with eels and jellies and delicate pipefish and sea dragons, you know?

My “year of aquariums” (I’ve visited four so far!) continued this weekend with a trip to an institution in Connecticut that claims the title of the “best aquarium in New England”–and as I happen to have visited all the other aquariums in New England, I tend to agree. I appreciated the focus on the local ecosystems of Connecticut waters and the opportunity to take my best photograph of a moray eel yet! (You’ll have to click through to see him in all his glory: though if elongated, toothy fish don’t charm you as much as they do me, perhaps you should sit this one out…)

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outfit of the [yester]day: return to the sea

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Two years ago today, I published my first cautious “outfit of the day” post, showing off what would become two classic staples of my personal aesthetic: Peter Pan collars and nods to marine biology. At the time, I possessed only that one vintage-style dress, and I wore it so often that I ended up buying its twin in another color. I’d never identified as someone who was Into Fashion, but there was just something about that dress–as soon as I zipped it up, I felt like a cheerful, quick-witted girl detective equipped to handle anything with anachronistic flair.

In the time since, acquiring pieces for my quirky wardrobe allowed me to feel more confident and more myself than I’d ever been in jeans and sweaters or Young Professional Workplace Wear. Now, if I so desire, I have the ability to wear colorful retro dresses literally every day. Even a skirt decorated with galactic, bioluminescent mermaids and sea creatures is at my fingertips! But — as my absence from this blog might have suggested — over the past few months, I’ve begun to lose confidence in my bold fashion. In some moments of confusion, I’ve almost wondered if I might have to abandon the style that I love and start showing up in slacks or skater skirts!

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outfit of the [yester]day: tidepool time

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Every time I think I’ve finally acquired the paragon of ocean-themed dresses, another fabric designer decides to add more nautiloids and seahorses to their novelty print!

I wore this for the first time on my last day of work, and it seems a fitting ensemble for new beginnings. The menagerie of sea creatures softly swirling* in these watercolored aquamarine polyester depths soothe me as I transition into life as a student again!**

*I don’t fully understand why those scallops and sea stars and conch shells are just suspended in what is presumably the middle of the water, but perhaps this skirt is more of a fabric tidepool!

**Plus, this is also the best match I’ve found for my turquoise-haired mermaid brooch so far!

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let’s cuttle: Oh Plesiosaur pin review

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Feast your eyes on this sparkly cephalopod! I may have spent a good amount of last week gushing about my love for ocean sunfish, but the mola mola’s biggest competition for my favorite sea creature has to be the cuttlefish.

Oh Plesiosaur released this shiny enamel pin just days after I returned from our trip to Monterey. It was destiny! Now I can wear it to work, hoping it will catch some wayward museum employee’s eye and make them wonder which alien-of-the-sea is hanging out on my lapel!

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monterey haul: here comes the sunfish

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An alternative title for this post could be “PLUSH MOLA, PLUSH MOLA, PLUSH MOLA.” In fact, I don’t know why I’m even bothering to write any content when I could just type look at this mola ad infinitum. Who is the genius responsible for mass-producing a cuddly version of the world’s heaviest bony fish?

My soft little sunfish, however, wasn’t the only treasure I picked up at the Monterey Bay gift shop! Hey, if people can blog about what they’ve hauled back from Disneyland or Sephora or whatever, why can’t I share the ridiculous souvenirs I picked up from my favorite tourist attraction? As one might say in a sea shanty–haul away boys, away!

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