end of the month review: april

Can you believe April is over? I feel like I say this every month, but this year is really flying. April was a wonderful flurry of friends and family and good times, and now it’s over! On to May, and even more fun, but first a look at the top-viewed posts from April.

city

fatcat

rae's days embroidery

new rug

baseball game

What a great month! For these and other snapshots from the month, you can always follow me on Instagram at raenudson.

this week in pictures

No embroidery this week because I’ve had company and a pretty bananas week all around.

view of manhattan from brooklyn flea

I went to Brooklyn Flea over the weekend. This is the view of Manhattan from the Williamsburg waterfront, where they host the flea market.

adorable towel

While I was there I bought this adorable towel now hanging in my kitchen. Look at that fat little penguin!

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black on black

black rae's days

I wear all black a lot. Maybe it’s a New York Thing or maybe it’s a Rae Thing–at this point I’m not sure I know the difference.

But I do know that I felt cute in this outfit. It’s a little hard to see, but there’s super cute pleats on my top, which added a nice texture. To complete the look I added sparkle with a necklace and gold-tipped heels. I think this could easily go from the office to any after work fun.

Pants from Gap, shirt from Target, shoes from Zara, bag and necklace from H&M.

game of thrones outfit inspiration: daenerys

If you don’t think Daenerys won Game of Thrones last night, you weren’t watching the same show I was.

Her strength, beauty and general badass-ness totally came through last night when she showed some slavers what was what. Dany is a gorgeous woman, and she can dress for every occasion. We’ve seen her in lovely light flowy dresses and horse-riding warrior gear. She’s been a pretty practical in her wardrobe lately, but what else could we expect from someone who’s planning more than one uprising?

daenerys outfit inspiration rae's days

I think Dany today would be pretty fierce. Here we have her in skinny jeans and stilettos with a jacket whose structure resembles her structured dresses as of late.

dany game of thrones outfit inspiration rae's days

But she also knows how to impress by being softer and elegant. I’d like to be more like Dany–in personality and in style, I think.

I’ve also made outfits inspired by Jaime, Arya and Margaery. Who’s your favorite?

home improvements

My mom is in town, and it’s been so great! She has graciously been helping around the house and that’s meant lots of cleaning and errand running, and also lots of huge improvements to every day life. I’ll post more of the whole apartment later, but check out the before and after of this not new but definitely improved bookcase!

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Huge difference, right?

game of thrones outfit inspiration: jaime

Well Jaime definitely didn’t this week’s episode of Game of Thrones. In fact, he lost quite a bit. But he lost the episode in such a spectacularly gruesome fashion that his moments stuck out to me the most.

Jaime spends most of his time in his white cloak and armor (or in mud when he’s a prisoner), but we can take cues from Jaime and take it with us to the office.

jaime lannister inspired outfit rae's days

Lannister colors are red and gold, which look smashing against a bright white. It’s a crisp, clean and modern color combo, and you can look fresh but professional in a red pencil skirt. Throw on a bangle that looks like an arrow as a shout out to Jaime’s skills with weapons. And, of course, just because [SPOILER] Jaime doesn’t have his sword hand anymore doesn’t mean we can’t honor what it once was in a cheeky necklace from Catbird.

jaime lannister outfit inspiration rae's days

And for a more casual night out? White and gold, just like Jaime’s kingsguard gear, dress up a pair of jeans so you’re ready to hit the town.

this weekend

embroidery display rae's days

fabric rae's days

mirror rae's days

blanket rae's days

bed rae's days

No new embroidery this week, but I did update the display! My mom is in town visiting and the week was full of errand running and getting ready, and now that she’s here it’s full of fun. We are working on my apartment in between running around the city. I got some fabric to make pillow cases for the couch and bed. I got a new mirror for the bedroom that I hope to hang up today. I also got a flamingo blanket that #fatcat likes to nap under. Hope you all are having a great weekend! Doing a lot of work around here, hope to post some updates this week and get back to embroidery next Sunday.

Usually each Sunday I post the embroidery project I am working on to sew some of my favorite quotes from books. Let me know if you have any quote suggestions! You can see the other quotes in my embroidery project here:

in cold blood

in cold blood

Our book club book this month was In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. Have you read it? It’s a really amazing, in-depth account of a horrible murder of a family in Western Kansas in 1959.

I’m an editor, and I actually interned at the Kansas City Star, which comes up often in this book. I can’t seem to ever turn off my editor brain, especially when I’m reading nonfiction. And after some recent controversy came up doubting some of Capote’s claims, my editor brain was all over this novel.

Please don’t misunderstand me. The amount of research that went into this book is astounding. I am confident 95% of it is right on the money and expertly and beautifully presented. It’s the other 5%–the nonexistent attribution for conversations Capote couldn’t have been present for, or describing expressions when he wasn’t in the room–that sparks a teeny tiny bit of skepticism from me. These details probably won’t matter to most people. He makes his claims based on days–months probably–of interviews and years of research. So even if he was assuming how someone’s face looked when they got bad news, he likely assumed correctly. But if you’re claiming your novel is 100% accurate, then I think you should be able to clearly say how you know these things are true, even the little moments and expressions that don’t matter much to the whole tale.

We talked about this in book club, and most of the people who weren’t journalists didn’t sweat this small stuff. But we did talk about how he got his information, and journalistic standards and ethics. My book cub notes are here:

in cold blood notes

Like how close is too close? Did his relationships with his subjects color his account? My issue isn’t with the writing (how could it be, it’s incredible), it’s with transparency. Having more transparency may not have made this book a better story. But I do think it would have made it a stronger journalistic piece. And if you don’t want that–if you’d rather it be a gorgeous piece of writing that’s 95% accurate and blurs the lines of truth here and there–then I’m totally cool with that. Really. As long as you tell me that’s what’s happening so I can read it with that in mind.

The structure of this novel is brilliant. He twists the victims’ and the killers’ stories so that they really only meet toward the end–once Dick and Perry are caught and are telling their tale. I read that Capote was one of the first to do this kind of nonfiction novel. He made it popular, and, when he was writing, footnotes and strict record-keeping weren’t really a thing yet. I understand, but I do wish they were there. Because I’m a big nerd, and I like to read them. And also because if they were there, it would be easier to dispute/support others’ claims of inaccuracy.

One of my favorite themes in the book is perceptions versus reality. The killers eventually confess, but do you believe every word in their confessions? Their personalities can seem sweet or callous, depending on circumstances, so who are they really? Sensitive and charming? Or manipulative, cold-blooded killers? The Clutter family was well-off and lived in a big house and took care of big business. The killers believed they were rich, but found next to no cash in their house. What’s real? Does reality or perception even matter when the end result is a dead family?

What do you guys think?

(I bought this book on my own and am not being paid to write about it. I am not affiliated with Word; I’m just a fan.) 

game of thrones outfit inspiration: arya

Arya, also known as The Coolest Person You Wish You Were, is back and wins this week’s episode of Game of Thrones. We find her on the run after she escapes from almost certain death by bargaining with a man who will kill whoever she wants. I love Arya’s spunk. While sitting down to dinner with her kidnapper (rescuer? It’s not clear), she doesn’t hesitate to pull out her sword and challenge a man about three times her size.

I think Arya gives everyone a run for their money. If she were working/playing in the city today, here’s what she might wear.

arya day outfit

She wore a lot of green this episode to blend into the woods. You can also wear it to stand out as a go-getter. Arya’s jewelry hints at the bones she could crush if she wanted. Her clutch doubles as a weapon–just in case. Her shoes are sensible, of course, so she can chase you if she needs to.

arya night

As Arya runs errands on the weekend, she casually throw on her fur–she is a daughter of the wolf after all. Her necklace is made up of the bones and teeth of lesser (wo)men. Her shoes have spikes because she had to leave her sword at home. She’s got everything she needs in her tote bag, including running shoes for a quick trip to anywhere.