Monday, May 28, 2012

cuddly toy

Hello friends and welcome to Monday! I had this weekend off from work and yesterday was ridiculously hot, so naturally shorts were a necessity. (When are they not though? Seriously.) I'm in the process of looking for a new job, or at least a second part time gig, and so I biked over to a local art supply store to deliver my resume. This was the best outfit I could think up of to say, "I'm a creative, artsy spirit who understands colour harmony but can also appropriately dress myself for 90 degree weather. Oh hey, I also have a fairly tasteful tattoo and who doesn't love Chaplin!" I also wore my saddle shoes because people lose their minds over them. Of course, after all this, the art shop was closed for the holiday weekend and I nearly suffered heat stroke for nothing.

I've been wearing these shorts constantly, as they're a new summer favourite. Thanks auntie! I like to pretend that I'm Nancy Drew when I wear them, out to solve the next big mystery. Okay, I know that Nancy Drew began back in the 1930s, but I think she'd still find them rather tasteful. Everytime her outfit is mentioned in a book, I get a thrill of excitement over knowing what one of my top favourite feminists is wearing. Yes, I still read Nancy Drew books. I'm not even going to bother defending myself.

I bought this shirt a couple of months ago at a vintage shop near my house called Lula. It was a tad overpriced given that the hem had ripped and was half hand-stitched, but the print was so fantastic...I couldn't pass it up. Not to mention, orange and blue is my favourite colour chord (that vocab is me putting my college education to use!).
I seem to have accidentally started a collection of horse print apparel. I thought the shirt brought a nice late '60s/'70s vibe into the outfit. The shorts are already circa early 1970s and I wanted to keep up the theme! Come to think of it, the belt is probably from the same time. Jeez, I'm such a hipster with all my vintage clothes. I don't know how I sleep at night.
Saddle shoes! People are constantly asking me if these are vintage. As your classic vintage-lovin' hipster, I wish I could say yes...but I actually bought them at Payless for $6. I didn't realise that saddle shoes were so uncommon, but then I realised that these are kid's shoes. They don't tend to make adult-sized saddle shoes (I guess!), so just another pro to having small feet. For those poor souls desperate for saddle shoes, Rookie Mag offers a tutorial to design your own here.
In case you didn't notice, I am at my new photo spot. What's this, second week in a row now? There's a weird kid who lives down the alley from me who seems to just cruise the neighbourhood on his bike. He must be my age or so. Anyways, he rode by while I was being world's biggest fashion dork and just stared at me. Then he dropped his bike, went into his house & came out a minute later eating something suspicious and just staring into the depths of my blogger soul. Now and then we'll pass each other on our bikes in the alley and I always avert eye contact. I suspect a very strange "Rear Window" type of thing about him. (See, those Nancy Drew books have been rubbing off on me!)
Okay okay okay, this is all I have for you. Tomorrow I'm going out for breakfast with a dear friend of mine, but otherwise I'll be spending the next couple weeks having the life sucked out of me at work. But don't worry, I'm a professional optimist!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

ordinary people

It's a rainy rainy horrible day out. It's also my first day off all week and I'd had plans to bike all over town running various errands. Plans ruined, instead I'm indoors watching "Freaks & Geeks" re-runs and feeling antsy. I ran outside for a few minutes for photos and as soon as I got back in, it started pouring again.
I bought these jeans last year as I'd found them in the sale section. I really never wear pants, and certainly not jeans. Anyone who reads this blog with any sort of regularity knows this. They're just so uncomfortable and never fit correctly. I've hemmed these, but the gap in the waist to hips is so irritating. I keep these handy for lazy days such as today, but otherwise I'm not much of a fan...
The outfit was inspired by a number of things, all pertaining to the 1970s. I spent the morning chatting with my mum and going through her jewelry boxes. My mum was a major hippie. Let's get that out of the way first. Her wedding dress was something out of the Renaissance Festival, and instead of a veil she wore flowers in her hair. Today I came across a huge Taurus pendant and also her wedding and engagement ring. She and my father had picked them up at an art fair and they're chunky brass rings with some sort of topaz-esque stone set in. Not your typical wedding rings, but yet I was completely unsurprised to find them; Very typical of my flower power mum. After all this, the bell bottoms were essential and my Campus Casuals button down is the perfect psychadelic '70s print.
I'd already been in a bit of a hippie-dippie mood after re-reading 1976's "Ordinary People" by Judith Guest.
I'm such a dork for character studies. I first read this book in 10th grade. I remember that I was the only one participating in the discussions (and was probably the only one who actually read the book cover to cover, word for word). This meant that the classroom discussions were me talking to myself about the dynamic relationships among characters in the book and why they are who they are. It's an astonishingly human look at the complicated and in-depth minds of a family of totally ordinary people. If anyone is looking for a new read, I most certainly recommend this.
I've always been fascinated by character studies. I believe that one of the only reasons I like people are because there's such a variety of them but we connect and relate through these strange behaviours and feelings...which are totally ordinary but you really don't realise it till you notice how many other people are the same way.
I remember I once wrote a story about a boy and one of the things he did was when he'd feel hungry or bored, he'd open the fridge and just stare inside, not really noticing what was there, and then close it and walk away. A number of people read this part and brought it up to me as something they do regularly. It's a totally ordinary behaviour, but it's so simple and seemingly unimportant, why bring it up? I love character studies because they make you so concious of your human-ness.
One of the things I've been doing lately, speaking of ordinary human behaviour, is keeping a journal. I've found myself, being full of thought and feeling but no one to intimately share it with, in desperate need of a place to store these thoughts. So from time to time, I write in my Felix the Cat journal about being single, about how fed up I am with my work place, about how appreciative I am of my friends, about feminism, about things I'd like to do, whatever is on my mind. It feels great, if not a bit lonely, to clear my head. I've found that having less stress makes the day go by faster and a little less miserably. As a teenage girl, everyday is a whirlwind of emotion and it's good to be able to write it down instead of bottling it up.
I think in the past when I've tried journaling, I've made it all date specific, talking about what went on in my day. It was so much going on. In my new phase of journaling, I'm focusing on one specific feeling and writing it all out till I no longer feel so anxious. This doesn't mean that work isn't pissing me off any less or that I don't feel as lonely being single. It just means that I can organise all these emotions and not be quite so overwhelmed with the anxiety of them all.
Hopefully I don't bore everyone with my emotions. Sometimes it's scary when people get too emotional about things, especially when you're an outsider looking in. Yeah this is a "fashion" blog and all, but it's also written by an 18 year old girl, and that doesn't come without a lot of mix up and confusion, unfortunately.
Anyways, hopefully the weather will pick up a be a bit nicer for my day off tomorrow. I work for most of next week unfortunately, so I'd like to enjoy some fresh air and sunlight while I can! Don't forget about the Summer of Sundresses. Email me at with a photo of yourself wearing a sundress, along with your name, location, and favourite summer activity. I look forward to sharing them with everyone!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

baba o'riley

I've become very fond of my new photo spot (and I hope you are, too). My alley is surprisingly quiet and I don't know why I never thought about this in the past 3 years that I've been taking photos outside for. I've overcome my fear of neighbours spotting me being a dork/teenage blogger (synonymous, really), having it replaced by a new fear of being hit by a car. Some idiots drive fast in residential areas. Bloggers at play here, guys!
Speaking of play, I wore this outfit the other day. It was particularly hot out (90 F or something crazy like that) and I had spent the morning cutting my foot open on a new pair of shoes and prancing around in a skirt. In the evening, I went out with some friends and thus slipped into something better for play, and into shoes that won't murder my feet. Unfortunately, exposed skin isn't good for play. Somewhere in the night I ended up falling and skinning my elbow, as well as bruising my bum. My elbow scab is really sexy hot and I'm practically beating the boys off.
Although I've been complaining about my new injury a fair amount, it's secretly a happy marking of the arrival of summer and my fair weather friends. Seriously, skinning yourself in the winter is nearly impossible due to the lack of bare pavement & heavily clothed bodies. My recent injuries can only mean one thing: summer.
Another sign of summer: sunnies! I've been sunglass shopping the past few days and have, on several occasions, had to resist the urge to buy some new sunnies. I've come down with a recent fear of ruining my eyesight after a man on the bus told me about finally getting his cataracts removed and being able to read again. Yikes!
These shorts are Mink Pink and from ModCloth several sales ago. I'm obsessed with them. Usually floral makes me gag (there - now you know) but these are just perfect. I prepped them up with the bengal striped button down and tied it in a knot because that's the new trend I'm setting. Everyone knot your shirts this summer. It's infinitely cooler and everyone will want to be your friend. Literally...everyone.

Thanks to everyone who's entered the Summer of Sundresses thus far! I've loved the entries that I've recieved and cannot wait to reveal them all. Until that time, if you find yourself in a sundress, take a photo and email it to me at - more details are below! Keep cool, friends xx

Friday, May 18, 2012

summer of sundresses

Hello friends! I'm hosting a fun event on the blog in order to kick in the summer! Please email a photo of yourself in your favourite sundress along with your name, location, and favourite summer activity. All entries may be sent to me at .

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

me & my Schwinn

One of my favourite parts of summer is riding my bike! Here in Minnesota, biking season (like so many other outdoor activities) is limited to a short 4 or 5 months. If I was a hard core biker, I'd brave the cold and maybe even the snow and ice....but I'm not. I'm the most leisurely bike rider around and am often left behind in the dust when I'm biking with friends. I just don't see the point of rushing. As A.A. Milne would say, "There is no hurry. We shall get there someday."
I'll definitely never understand people who live such hectic lifestyles that they can never sit back, breathe, and wait their turn. There're so many people in this world who have no patience, who are always going going going and who always have to be first. I swear I'm about the opposite of that. Maybe if I'm running late for work or class, then I'm hurrying. But I think that's the only time. If I'm late, oh well. The world still turns and at least I didn't get myself worked up in a panic along the way.
Speaking of leisure, I wore this outfit yesterday when I went out for bubble tea with my good friend Travis. He had texted me a month or two ago saying, "We have to have bubble tea soon" and since then it's become a weekly, bi-weekly, as-much-as-we-can tradition. The nearest bubble tea manufacturer, Tea Garden, is down on Grand Avenue in St. Paul, near Mcalester College. It's about a 15 minute bike ride through a neighbourhood deeply shaded by huge ash trees and I often find myself lost in thought instead of concentrating on peddling and not getting hit by absent-minded drivers and people in a hurry.
Bubble tea days with Travis are extremely relaxing. We sit in Tea Garden for a couple hours, drinking our tapioca pearls and chatting about break ups, workplace gossip, exes, food, summer, politics, and anything else on our minds. Then we meander down the street to find food. There's a very good Mediterranean restaurant which has excellent cake, there's also a nice cafe (though usually trashed with college kids & their laptops), and a Afghan restaurant. There's also an art shop and a nice odds-and-ends shop that we often go into and talk about art and stuff we don't need but want anyways. I love these days with Travis because they're so perfect and a great escape from our stressful, busy lives.
Since I always bike down to Tea Garden, I need to wear bike-appropriate outfits. I got these shorts from my aunt a few weeks ago. She had made them when she was younger and they're constructed of a really neat fabric. Sturdy. They're definitely one of my new favourite pieces and remind me of summer camp and Girl Scouts, Nancy Drew and canoeing and freckles.
I realised yesterday that this whole outfit cost me $6 - which would be the cost of the shoes. They're beat up to pieces and I'm almost sure that my mum is going to throw them out the next time I go out of town.
The green belt was from my great aunt. She gave me a bunch of old belts when I was about 8, thinking that they'd fit me around the hips....and now here I am 10 years later wearing them around the waist as they were originally intended! This white blouse is the same one I wore last week under my horse sun dress and is from the same aunt who gave me the shorts. She pretty much gifted me a whole new outfit!
Last week as I was leaving the library, I found this little bow pin on the ground. It's positively cute and fit my outfit well at the time, so I pinned it on and carried on my way. I was in the grocery store the other day and the clerk said, "I love your pin!" to which I told her, "Thanks! I found it on the ground." It's funny when you have clothes or accesories like that.
So in conclusion to everything that I'm wearing here, 3 of the 5 things are from aunts, and the outfit total cost me $6. Hurrah!
Well I think I've done enough talking for today. I'm going to make cupcakes and then I'm off for an evening of watching movies with a friend. I hope everyone is enjoying lovely weather right now and has a bit of time to relax out in the sun.

Monday, May 14, 2012

she sells seashells

Hello beautiful friends! I'm in such a good mood today - it's sunny and warm, The Lovin' Spoonful is on the radio, and I spent the morning looking through photos from my Europe trip last summer (and had lots of good laughs over some of them!). I don't know what is better for the soul than sunshine, good music, and great memories. Maybe tropical shirts?
Introducing my newest shirt fresh from the second hand store. I felt like it must've been my lucky day, as I snatched this little guy up for less than $3 (Tommy Bahama, too - aren't their shirts usually about $100?)

I knotted the shirt to increase the "tropical vibes" even though I actually live in the middle of the big city paved with black top and not one tropical flower anywhere. I played up the pink and green tones in the shirt with a pink belt and green faux-jade jewelry from my great aunt.
On top of that, since I don't own any obnoxiously large flower hair pins, I draped a seashell necklace over my head and pinned it in place. A little Flapper-esque? My hair is getting so long, I can actually feel its weight on my back now (definitely a weird's been 3 or 4 years since my hair has been this long)!
This outfit is also giving me vibes of Baby's creepy sister in "Dirty Dancing"... Isn't there a scene where she's singing and wearing a Hawaiian shirt or seashell bra or something? I don't know, maybe the sunshine is going to my head. Or maybe I just need to re-watch "Dirty Dancing." (Yes, I think the second one.)
This weather is getting me so excited for summer and everything that comes with it. In commemoration, I went barefoot (read: I was too lazy to lace up my tennies). My winter-weary feet are used to being bundled up in layers of socks and furry boots. As a result from this brief barefoot alley walking, my feet are cut up and stinging. Time to rub some antiseptic on them and keep beating them up. Summer is here!
Last but not least, my puppy is finally through at the vet (for a few days) and is feeling much better! I'm so happy! I hope that the meds fix him up alright and they can diagnose the issue. Thanks so much for everyone who sent their thoughts over for little Moses. He's thankful for them too but would like to ask that next time you just send biscuits. xx

Thursday, May 10, 2012

They Shoot Horses, Don't They?

"I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they're right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together." - Marilyn Monroe
I've been living by that Marilyn Monroe quote for the past few days and weeks. Whenever life seems out of my control, I reassure myself by reading those words and mulling them over in my mind. There has been a lot of falling apart, a lot of bad things, a lot of lies, and a lot of letting go in my life lately and some days are really difficult. Days when listening to Cat Stevens and reading Rod McKuen seem like the only real possibilities. But getting out of bed and doing your work and facing your promises and responsibilities are the reality, and you have to put your bravest face on and deal with what's ahead, making the best of it along the way. Of course this applies in life all the time, but the past few days have been much more difficult than I remember.
I want to make this short and brief so that I can get onto better things. First off, I didn't get the internship. They called me two hours prior to my start time and told me that I didn't have all the necessary qualifications and wouldn't be able to complete all the tasks of the intern. This was extremely upsetting. I had really been looking forward to the opportunity. I'm not even angry about it, though. It wasn't meant to be. I'm angry about the way it was handled. They blamed me about it, saying that I should have brought these qualifications up in the interview process. I'm glad that I'm not working for such immature people afterall, but if there's one thing I hate, it's when people make me feel like a failure and a liar. That is one thing that I am not. I am absolutely not a failure. I am an honest, good person and I take responsibility for my mistakes.
On top of those upsetting feelings, my dog has been sick for the past 3 weeks. After numerous vet visits, the doctor finally said, "There is nothing more we can do here. You have to take him to a specialised vet, and as soon as possible." We asked if Monday would work and she said no, he might not still be here by then. So I spent 5 hours at the vet yesterday and now Moses is there getting an ultrasound and blood work done. It's hard even thinking about losing the little guy. He's been there for me through some of my most trying times and I wasn't prepared to lose that so quickly. I've been praying that he will be okay, but I always have to keep in mind that everything happens for a reason.
So now that I've got you down and depressed....I guess I should cheer you up! The weather is absolutely gorgeous. Sun everywhere and there're rambunctious baby squirrels and birds everywhere. I decided to try out a new photo-spot today and am thinking I'll have to revisit it again.
I bought this dress a year (or even more) ago from H&M, but this is the first time I've worn it. I love it. The skirt is full and perfect for twirling...and who doesn't love a good horse print, huh? (That was a rhetorical question.) I look forward to wearing it more. It would also be a perfect piece to wear during winter, because it's great for layering. All kinds of possibilities and if that isn't something to be cheerful about, I don't know what is!
I definitely had a spring in my step today. I forget how lovely the sunshine and the green grass is. Also, it's one of the first days this month that it hasn't been raining and grey. I can't wait to spend more time outside! One good thing about not getting the internship: I won't be stuck inside a basement with no windows and fresh air.
My aunt gave me this shirt for the internship (I'm so crazy over prints, I don't have a solid white blouse) and it is now one of my favourite tops! It's a very thin material and isn't super fitted, so it falls nicely. I think I've worn it 3 of the past 5 days. My aunt also gave me a pair of brown shorts which make me feel like a girl scout and so naturally I love them. Expect to see those soon!
One change I made this spring was to my hair. I cut my bangs. On accident. It's funny because I made a blog post about very short Bettie Page/Louise Brooks bangs. I had decided not to go forth with them, but ended up accidentally cutting my bangs too short anyways. So now I have them and they're not too bad...but definitely made me realise how messy my eyebrows are! Not a good way to find out that you've overplucked your eyebrows, but change is always good and I haven't changed my hair much lately due to my attempts at growing it out.
I have to scurry off to campus this afternoon to pick up a project, and then I get to see my pup pup after his long day at the vet. He'll need loads of hugs and kisses, and I'm just the girl for the job! Toodles xx