Tuesday, June 28, 2011


And now, I leave for 32 days. Lots of goodies on my return from Europe! I'll be in Prague, Munich, Geneva, Lyon, Paris, Nantes, London, and Amsterdam. Keep your eyes out for a small, confused girl with curly hair!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

lay in bed with you and not have to worry about tomorrow

Outfit post! It seems like it's been a while, no? I've been super busy working, catching up with old friends, going on dates with a lovely boy, and getting ready for my 32 day excursion to Europe! Summer's a great time, isn't it? The only problem has been that the weather has been either chilly or very humid and sticky. It turns this whole clothing thing into a very difficult procedure.

Here, I wear an outfit that I wore when I went on a date to the aquarium and then the malt shop. All of my tights have huge runs in them and are absolutely trashed, so I went for thigh highs from American Apparel. I don't regularly shop at AA, but their socks are super warm and cozy, and fairly priced. In the winter, they're actually warmer than pants!

It's been such ever a long time since I wore suspenders! It felt great to strap them back on. I've distanced myself from menswear so much in the past year or so. My last boyfriend had an opinion on what I wore, and so I altered my style to appease him. Now that I'm back in the throws of singlehood and wearing whatever the Hell I want, I've been resorting to menswear accents.

I've also become addicted to hairbows! I went to H&M during break at work and bought every colour of hairbows from the kid's section. They get lost in my curly hair, so I usually wear them with my hair up. When I have late nights and not enough time to do my hair in the mornings, I've been putting my hair up into two buns on the top of my head, and then clipping in little bows. I thought it was sort of a childish style, but turns out the boys love it! My coworker was laughing at me the other day because she knew that that was exactly what I DIDN'T want to happen!

Speaking of curly hair and childish things....I went to the Taylor Swift concert on Tuesday! I am a huge Taylor Swift fan and my sister got tickets the Friday before the show. Despite the fact that my sister is 21, she was acting even more like a kid about it than I was! We made t-shirts with sparkly fabric markers and rhinestones, and she also made a poster and suggested that I wear my pink, light-up cowboy hat (a suggestion which I happily went along with).

Taylor played a great show. She is absolutely the most darling little creature imaginable.

Her outfits were also absolutely incredible! This girl has such an wonderful sense of style. Plus she has gorgeous curls, a killer voice, and comes off as a well-rounded, hard-headed person. I could keep gushing about Taylor, but I'll just end it with this: she's a total knockout.

My favourite flapper-esque little dress of the night. Ok, now back to the outfit since this is, apparently a fashion blog, although a poor excuse for one at that.

My sister borrowed this cardigan a few weeks ago and finally got it back to me the other day. Even though I hadn't worn it in months, I had sudden cardigan withdrawl as soon as it left my closet. So when she placed it back in my hands, I put it on immediately. It's so wrong when it's June, but still chilly enough to wear a sweater!

I'm also wearing Steve Madden wedges, which are too wide for my feet. I need to find a solution for this problem, so that I can wear them more comfortably! Hmmm.....

Anyways, I'll finish this up so that you last few who stuck it out can get on with your lives. I have a busy week ahead of me, of grad parties, museums, art festivals, dinner with parents, and movie nights. I have only two more shifts to work until August, and my birthday is on the 22nd, followed by a slew of rushed farewells and packing for my trip on the 28th. I've begun a new game among my coworkers called "My birthday is on Wednesday, guess how old I'll be!" I look older in my work uniform, so I've been getting a lot of 23s...to which I burst into giggles like the immature 18 year old I actually will be.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

New Mexico (lots o' photos)

Since it's been almost a month since I went to New Mexico, I thought it was about time to post some photos from my trip and show off a few goodies I purchased. We were primarily in Santa Fe, but we wandered over to Albuquerque and Taos for a few days. New Mexico is so beautiful! Despite it being in the southwest, the weather was pretty chilly and I found myself a bit unprepared, having brought only shorts and short sleeved tops.

The flight over was great and as we were passing Colorado I looked out and saw snow covered mountains! In humble little Minnesota, we don't have any mountains so it was a new sight for me to see.

New Mexico is almost an entirely different culture from the Upper Midwest. The art, food, and general atmosphere are influenced by Native culture as well as Mexican and Spanish traditions.

The history museum in Old Town Albuquerque had a magnificent sculpture garden.

Adobe walls were everywhere!

On our way up to the mountains, we stopped at Chimayo, an old church which attracts thousands of tourists because of the miracles performed there. Speaking of miracles, this little restaurant on-site has miraculously good tamales! I devoured a chicken and chile one.

This little guy was living outside Chimayo :)

Up in the mountains, it was super windy and chilly. I definitely could've used a sweatshirt (and hey, this IS a Minnesotan talking!). The forests were almost Minnesotan, even if the elevations were not.

At the top of one of the mountains, in a tired little run-down artists' town. It was so secluded and desolate, all the buildings were run down and the only businesses were a sleepy general store and a few galleries scattered throughout.

After driving through the mountains, we headed into Taos (Julia Roberts lives here!) and ate some pizza and subs. I also wandered into a leather store and bought myself a vest from the kid's section. Ah, to fit into children's wear!

Also in Taos was this lovely little sculpture garden. Doesn't everything look so grand with the mountains in the background?

The people of Taos laying down the law.

I broke down and got this Taos sweatshirt. I knew that another trek through the mountains would warrant such! I also bought many pairs of New Mexico socks ;)

Next stop was at Bandelier National Monument. I'd been there many years before and had a terrible experience in the hot weather. I figured that it wouldn't be so bad in the fair weather...and I was right! A slight sunburn proved nothing to some of the magnificent ruins.

Bandelier National Monument's history extends some 10,000 years back to nomadic hunter-gatherers. Many of the structures dated to 1150 CE when the pueblo peoples began building more permanent homes.

They built their home in ridiculously high elevations. Skinny pathways and crumbling stairs would lead them higher and higher up the steep rock.

This remaining structure is the base of a 4 story building. You can see pegs where ceiling and floor joists were set in, and holes in the rock served as cool storage.

Ladders allowed you to climb into some ancient rooms. Once inside you were free of the sun's harsh rays and the temperature would drop dramatically. The last part of the monument is a 140ft climb to the alcove house. The ladders seem never ending and the narrow pathways make traversing even more difficult. It's amazing to think of all the people who originally built these pathways...and would walk them daily!

At the top of the Alcove House is a ceremonial kiva. You can climb down there and feel the temperature drop dramatically. Scientists think the kivas were used for ceremonial or political purposes.

After Bandelier, we dropped into Los Alamos, New Mexico where the first atomic bombs were created. It continues to be used as testing grounds for atomic and nuclear sciences. In Los Alamos is the Bradbury Museum, all about atomic bombs. Above is a replica of the Little Boy bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

A replica of the Fat Man dropped on Nagasaki. It was difficult to go through the museum, given my opinions on such violent and destructive war tactics. The museum celebrated all the efforts that went into the bombs, as well as all the death which led to America's win.

Our last day was spent in Santa Fe, traipsing through downtown for some last-minute shopping as well as checking out Jackalope, an outdoor mercado which sells some amazing art. The handpainting on the sculptures is so remarkable and alien to Minnesota!

I didn't actually buy anything for myself from here, but the colours are so brilliant! I can't say it'd all fit into the decor of my house, but it's beautiful to look at.

In downtown Santa Fe I picked up this kitschy little t-shirt.

I also picked up this sun dress. That being said, the sun hasn't made much of an appearance so far this year! We had a couple days 100°F days in a row, and now Minnesota has sunk back to 60 - 70°F with a chilly breeze and no sun. Where are you, summer?!

Of course I couldn't leave the Southwest without a cowboy hat!

A mirrored jewelry box I picked up at The Rainbow Man in downtown Santa Fe.

Day of the Dead mirror also from The Rainbow Man

A dreamcatcher, wooden feather earrings, and a pin of the Thunderbird. When you're buying Native art, you have to be careful. A lot of dealers will sell you knock off pieces which were not Native made. It's important to go to trustworthy dealers, check for inscriptions, and get a note of authenticity.

And flying back to Minnesota! I'll be back on an airplane on June 28th, when I'm flying into Amsterdam to spend 32 days in Europe! We'll be hitting Prague, Munich, Geneva, Lyon, Paris, Nantes, London, and Amsterdam! Please give me suggestions of where to go, shop, and eat. It'll be my first time in Europe and I want to do it right!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Bettie Page & the Jazz Summer

Great news folks! I've graduated! (Hence the expression of joy and hope and new beginnings - yeah, there's a lot packed into that smile!) Anyways, to celebrate, I bought myself this pair of shorts. I went to the dreaded Mall of America on Thursday and wandered across (read: purposefully guided our shopping trip towards) the new Bettie Page Store. The clothes are so sweet - '50s sun dresses, lazy day beach rompers, and wiggle skirts, and all in sizes xs to 4x. The girls working there are like darling little cupcakes with victory rolls and hoop skirts. I fell in love with these shorts immediately (who wouldn't?) and snatched them up with graduation in mind.

It has to be said that I've always wanted more curves. As an extremely petite, slim person, even the raindrops miss me. I feel the need to highlight the following to everyone - no one is ever completely happy with their bodies. It's an entirely normal thing and it shouldn't make you (or me) a bad person. I don't put myself down about being naturally slim and I hope that girls with curves don't put themselves down about it either. Embrace what you have and remember that it's entirely normal to feel insecure, as long as, in the end, you love yourself for who you are. Ok, preaching over, let's get back to the shorts. They make me feel like a little pin up girl from an Elvgren painting! The sizes run small, but the xs still fit me fine, with an inch or two of room around the waist (I told you I'm petite!). I've only worn them once and have already been raking in the compliments, which only makes me feel better in them. They're my new feel good shorts and I'm sure they'll get plently of wear throughout the summer...and into fall...and winter.

But enough about the shorts, since I could write a novel about them. Let's talk hats! I was sporting this cloche hat to throw some flapper into the midst and also to tame my curls a bit. I usually detest the flatness of hat hair but it was necessary for the grad cap!

I don't know who invented the grad cap, but he and I need to have a serious chat about how to wear such a contraption with curly hair! The elastic causes curls to stick out like you got electrocuted, and if you have bangs, well...there's really no way to work that. After having both my roomate and mother try to yank it onto my noggin and arrange my bangs and curls, without success, I folded in the sides and pinned it in. Not such a bad technique!

To finish up this outfit and get on with graduation...I'm wearing a blouse from H&M, Madden Girl ruffle pumps, a vintage bracelet from Bohemien Bisoux, Lime Crime's Retrofuturist lipstick, and a new cloche hat which I picked up from a hat shop in Old Town Albuquerque, New Mexico! Oh and of course a brand new pair of un-ran stockings. I was saving this pair just for an occasion in which rips and runs certainly would not do! Unfortunately my legs aren't in great shape what with bruises and bug bites galore, but it's just another sign of summer! And now, a quick run-through of graduation:

Before the ceremony I was literally all over the place with anxiety! I was taking a photo everytime I caught my reflection and was waving my lint brush around like a mad woman! It's surprising that I was so excited to graduate - I haven't technically been in high school for 2 years! I've been doing full-time college classes since junior year.

My high school is very small (like me!). There were only 12 other kids in my class. Being back made me a bit sad that I hadn't been around for the past 2 years - these kids had been like a big family to me! It felt great to be back in the swim with the other fish.

I also graduated with honours, and got to wear this cool gold sash!

Photos! I actually didn't take many photos with people, but I got a few. This is my father! I was the first one out the door after graduating (it helps that my last name begins with A) and the weather last night was so fantastic!

This boy graduated last year. We used to be best friends & it was so great to be able to see him again! I think he's grown. I was wearing 4 inch heels and he's still slouching!

My sister and I have identical smiles! I've never really thought that we looked the same, but we do have the same mouth. She's much taller than me - her being 5'7" and me being barely 5'1"!

And finally, with both my parents! Overall it was a great ceremony and I cannot wait to start the summer! On the 22nd I'm having my 18th birthday and on the 28th of June I'm leaving for Europe for 32 days. Hopefully a bit of summer love will follow me, as well! Maybe a nice French boy, hmm?