Thursday, August 30, 2012

Happiness Is...

Hmph. It seems that the end of my summer has been very busy all of a sudden. Between panicking about going back to school, being a slave to my job, and charming the socks off of the general public, I also went to the State Fair on Tuesday. The Minnesota State Fair is sort of a big deal 'round here. It's the second biggest fair in the United States and has about a bazillion different types of food on a stick. It's generally an all-around good time, if not rather unhealthy and a money suck.
Anyways, to get to my point: this is what I wore to the fair.
I listened to the weather before heading out and the weatherman (albeit, it was just a radio DJ reading off from some website...probably Yahoo! they're always inconsistent) claimed that it was going to be 94°F. I had a small panic attack and decided to wear some short shorts and tie up a tee shirt as a means of defense against the summer heat. Turns out, it was no where near that hot - The Hell! That's the last time I depend on them for my weather report! Anyways, so besides being underdressed for the Fair, it was a good time. I was extremely excited to wear this outfit. Check out the next photo & you'll see why...
I found these patches in the sale section at Jo Ann fabrics several months ago. I snatched them up with the idea of ironing them onto some jean shorts (and thus, turning them into something way too cool for school). Last week or whenever it was that I went thrifting with my friend Carrie, I scooped up several pairs of little boys' jeans (can't beat $1.50 a pop) and devoted one of the pairs towards my Snoopy & Woodstock patches. I am a very very happy girlie.
Since I wanted all the attention on the shorts, I wore a plain white Hane's tee and tied it up since word on the street was that it would be hot out. Today, when I took these photos, it was 91°F out...much better weather for tee shirt tying. I've been pretty steady with my "work out" routine and am rather happy with the results. Rock hard abs are coming my way, awww yeah. I've always been able to build muscle easily, I've just never dedicated any time towards working out. It's been helping me keep my stress down so hopefully I'll keep it up once semester starts in, ye gods, 5 days!
I also decided to put my bracelets from Guatemala back on. Some of my friends are still wearing their's and I was starting to feel guilty for having already taken mine off (even though it was for a professional event) so I put them back on.
In case you don't like my face, here's a photo of just simply the outfit. Though, I may have been making a funny face expression. In fact, that's more than likely.
 I'm off to the drive in tonight with a group of some of my favourite friends. Summer just isn't summer without a trip to the drive in! Speaking of summer, don't forget that the deadline for Summer of Sundresses is Saturday (2 DAYS) so email your photos now. It's your final chance, friends! I've also got a super sneaky give away planned, so keep your eyes peeled for that xx

Sunday, August 26, 2012

My Best Girl

At the start of the summer, I made a list of things I wanted to buy for summer 2012. Okay, it wasn't so much a list as just two things circulating in my head: roller skates and a typewriter.
I feel like my entire existence on Earth lately has been to be as charming as possible to the general population. Now, I'd rather not have to associate with the population for them to find me charming, so instead I'll just look charming by appearance which means roller skating around the neighbourhood and sitting in the yard writing love stories on a typewriter. Earlier this summer, I installed a bike basket on my beloved pink Schwinn, thinking, "I will charm the socks off of Saint Paul if I ride through the streets with puppies or cupcakes or flowers in my bicycle basket!" Now the weird thing is, I don't have any idea where this desire to seem charming came from. I think I was just getting tired of being some angsty teenager stomping around in platform boots with a scowl on my face. Wait, was that ever really me? It's rare to find me without some big fat grin, rosy cheeks, and hair in curls. So this brings me back to my original point: I have absolutely no idea where this desire for charm came from.
I've been feeling a bit down and out lately so yesterday when a friend insisted upon seeing me I said, "Okay, but we're going shopping!" I'm pretty stereotypical when it comes to retail therapy. I had my summer shopping list in hand (or head): Roller skates and a typewriter, along with the additions of elastic and Nancy Drew book 5.
I threw on this little blue skirt & vest set that my aunt gave to me from her own collection (hey - the shirt was from her as well!). I adore it to pieces. The fabric is beautiful and in this wonderful cerulean blue colour. It's very '60s back-to-school and even reminds me a bit of some sort of preppy thing that Nancy Drew would wear. But let's be realistic: I've convinced myself that I am Nancy Drew and thus, everything I wear reflects the super sleuth also... I topped the outfit off with these fabulous new Doc Martens I found at the thrift store. Brand new with a big fat buckle and a chunky heel. It was love at first sight and, coincidentally, fate because they were exactly my size.
Dressed for the day, my friend and I set out...and as it turned out, blue was my lucky colour yesterday! I found Nancy Drew 6 - 9 at a stellar price (not number 5 though, which puts a small hole in my collection), then bounced over to the fabric store to pick up elastic and find a bargain priced fabric for a new back-to-school skirt. After that, we headed over to the antique mall to search for treasures. Right off the bat, we happen upon this blue typewriter!
I also found this great new bag! It has many pockets and is perfect for textbooks or overnight stays. Not to mention, it's a fabulous colour and in perfect condition. I'm so exciting to be toting this around campus in just a couple of weeks!
I wasn't about to settle for just any typewriter: I was insistent upon either a blue or a pink one. It turned out to be rather lucky to run across this blue one! There was only one other typewriter in the store (black) and when I asked the antique-obsessed-shopkeeps about the typewriter, they were very enthusiastic. I asked if they ever saw pink ones in the shop, which I got a firm no on, and then asked if they got many blue ones. Nope. And this one was excellently priced at $60 (I checked upon returning home, typewriter in hand and hole in wallet). I don't usually spend that much money and especially not on just one item, but since I only had two things on my summer shopping list, I thought Why the Hell not! I haven't had much time to write with it yet, but I think tomorrow night might present the perfect opportunity.
I have My Best Girl with Buddy Rogers and Mary Pickford out right now. Buddy Rogers is beyond cute (and Minnesotan!) but Mary Pickford drives me nuts. I'll admit I already watched the movie on Friday night, half asleep and delirious from my day at work, so I'm going to re-watch it tonight. It was such a beyond adorable movie...I'm already excited to see it again!
Don't forget to send me a photo of you in your favourite summer dress for the Summer of Sundresses event! Deadline is next Saturday and all entires can be emailed to me at I've been really enjoying the ones I've recieved and look forward to featuring them. I'm also looking forward to featuring a back-to-school care package giveaway, so keep your eyes peeled for that! In the meantime, enjoy the last bits of summer and keep cool kiddies xx

Thursday, August 23, 2012

ghost world

I re-watched Ghost World the other night. I had seen it sometime last year but I think I must've been barely concious for it or something because I hadn't retained a whole lot from it. (Okay, I should cut myself some slack - when you see a movie once, you can't really expect to retain much of it.) So I rented it again and watched it one night when I got home from work. I figured that the teen angst-y-ness of the movie would reflect nicely with my typical feelings when I get off work - "I hate everyone" and such like that.
Anyways, the thing that struck me most about Ghost World this time around was the wardrobe. Enid's carefree outfits coincided nicely with my own mood about the current state of my wardrobe. But the thing I liked the most were the proportions - loose shirts, short skirts, and clunky shoes. Plus, there was always the perfect dose of kitsch. This was my take on the proportions of Enid's typical outfits.
This sweater was a gift to me from a boyfriend when I was 16. It's been way too big for me, hanging down to mid-thigh, but I always kept it around to wear to bed and to cuddle up in. It was also convenient for when a boyfriend slept over and needed something clean to wear the next day. After this past break up, I was going through my dresser drawers and came across this sweater. I thought to myself, "I don't ever want to wear this again and I also never want to see another boyfriend wearing it!" But at the same time, I loved the wash of it and didn't want to I cut it into a crop and also cut off the sleeves. Ta da! A whole new shirt for a whole new me.
I'm also wearing a little peace sign brooch that I made a few months ago. I had had a plastic peace sign necklace lying around for years, so I finally took the pendant part, painted it silver, and glued rhinestones all over it. I meant to post the before and after photos but then completely forgot too...hmm, I probably still have them on my computer somewhere.
Just me being too cool for school as usual.
I spent the better part of my day with my friend Carrie. We scoured a few thrift shops and then went back to my place to spend the evening bleaching and tie-dying in the driveway. It was more fun than it was successful, but I look forward to showing off some of the things I made. Carrie made a super-cool fuschia ombre sundress that I am absolutely demanding her to wear for the Summer of Sundresses.
Don't forget - send in a photo of you wearing your favourite sundress, along with your name, location and favourite summer activity. All submissions can be emailed to me at and will be posted at the start of September. I'm so excited to feature other readers on the blog again!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

pretty things

I'm still a bit sick and didn't feel like taking photos of my outfit. I'm just wearing shorts and a knotted shirt - who wants to see that again? So instead, here are some pretty pictures, etc. to enjoy in my absence...

Buddy Rogers & Nancy Carroll, Follow Thru (1930).
Source: here.
Ginger Rogers & Fred Astaire, Swing Time (1936).
Clara Bow, Dangerous Curves (1929).
"Her emotions were close to the surface. She could cry on demand, opening the floodgate of tears almost as soon as I asked her to weep. She was dynamite, full of nervous energy and vitality and pitifully eager to please everyone."
- Director Frank Tuttle on Clara Bow
Brigitte Bardot.
101 Dalmatians (1961).
Cat Stevens.
"For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again."
- F. Scott Fitzgerald
Marilyn Monroe, Something's Got to Give (1962).

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Summer of Sundresses

I'm sick in bed all weekend so it seems like a good time to announce the second round of the Summer of Sundresses!

Our first round was extremely successful and I recieved a few photos after that ended, so I decided to do a round two as the summer closes out. Just email me at with a photo of yourself in your favourite sundress along with your name, location, and favourite summer activity!

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Only Living Boy in New York

Minnesota has recieved its first taste of autumn, with chilly weather and ferocious winds. On several occasions yesterday, I found myself wrapping my arms around myself in an attempt to keep warm. I also found myself, on several occasions, absolutely blinded by my hair blowing into my eyes.
I had the overwhelming need to wear these acid wash pants. Last week I did a talk at Ridgedale Center about back to school trends - one of them being an early '90s Saved by the Bell trend. I could talk forever about different pop culture figures in relation to fashion, and I got a small chance to chatter about Kelly Kapowski and AC Slater on Friday night at the event. Afterwards, I was very eager to give the trend another go. I had also just watched Home Alone and was very excited to jump into my nearest pair of acid wash and cozy sweater. The cooler weather presented just that opportunity!
My outfits are usually much more involved than this. I like the simplicity of wearing just jeans, a sweater, and my favourite beat up old tennies. I also added a triple strand gifted to me by a reader and my favourite brown satchel which I snagged from my auntie at a garage sale several years ago. I love this purse because it fits loads of stuff and matches just about everything.
I'm already excited to wear these jeans more this fall. I found them on sale when I was 15 or 16, back when I was going through a "Cheap Monday makes the best jeans ever" phase. And I mean, it's true...these jeans are fucking awesome, let's not get each other wrong, but Cheap Monday skinny jeans are definitely designed for people without hips...or a butt. This could be said of a lot of jeans, though.
Moses wanted to come for a few photos! What a sweetie.
I just started Boardwalk Empire....I'm still not sure what to think of it. I love the clothes and the sets and the realities of the 1920s, but it's also so graphic, violent, and there's loads deragatory language. That being said, I do love when Steve Buscemi says "Jesus!" That man has a sort of charisma to him that's impossible to put a finger on and whenever he swears, it has a sort of humour to it.
Has anyone else watched Boardwalk Empire? Is it worth it to keep watching? I think I'm on episode 4 right now...
See, I wasn't kidding when I said my hair was going crazy in the wind! I hear it's even chillier outside today, I look forward to going on a stroll before bouncing off to work this evening.
Don't forget to add Urban Tease on Facebook! I have some goodies coming up for you guys soon. xx

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

coming of age

Today, I took one more step towards adulthood: I registered to vote. And what's more, I voted. Growing up, my parents always kept me very politically aware and constantly reminded me that I was extremely lucky to live in a country where the people can vote for their leaders. I also remember my mum's token advice to me at age 8: "Never marry a Republican."

I have a sense of accomplishment now that I'm sporting a flashy "I Voted" sticker which I can sincerely call my own. I had a large collection of "I Voted" stickers which I saved up over the years when I was younger, collecting them from my parents after each election and proudly sticking them to my bedroom wall. I have yet to decide what to do with my brand new spanking sticker from today...maybe stick it in my "diary." Yes, that is what I will do.

I haven't been getting much more than 5 or 6 hours of sleep every night, which I think is more than clear in recent photos of me. I spent the weekend in rural Minnesota at a house party, and then whizzed back to the cities for a late night Sunday and an impromptu movie night on Monday. Phew. I think I'll be going to bed immediately after completing this blog post. I work tomorrow and mustn't be crabby....That being said, I think I might be able to squeeze in some ice cream before then.

When I got home this morning, I was in desperate need of a shower and some clean clothes. Since I've been feeling so sleepy and blaaahh lately, I decided to add some pep and colour to my outfit with pink and blue. Earlier today, I was browsing the Rookie Tumblr and saw this photo and immediately had sock envy. Sure, I like to boast about my immense sock collection but seriously...nothing can compare to those Frida Kahlo socks. So anyways, that inspired me to wear socks with flats and the best I could pull together were these little floral Keds (which I scored for only $6, but that's another story) paired with these chevron patterned socks. The true charm of the socks comes when I'm shoe-less and Snoopy is visible peaking up from my toes.

I'm also sporting a Hello Kitty Band-Aid. You can imagine my surprise when I pulled a bandage out from my Disney Princess box, only to find that it was Sanrio instead of Belle, Ariel, or even Cinderella! Oh well, I can't complain. I had a horrible mess of bedhead and decided to put my hair up in little buns and put bows in my hair (always a hit on the boy front). I also thought to add extra kitsch to the look by pairing these button earrings which were gifted to me in middle school by a girl in my advisory. Come to think of it, just yesterday I deleted her from Facebook because I hadn't spoken to her in years. Ah, the irony.

I am also wearing this top from my aunt. It has a charming sweetheart neckline and has become a new favourite. I'm also wearing Levi's cut-offs and a leopard print belt for some extra pattern mixing.
A few days ago, I needed to look "professional" and decided to finally take my Guatemala bracelets off. Since then, I've been missing them greatly - they were a wonderful token of the great journey I went on and a constant reminder of the beautiful community of faith in San Lucas Toliman. To fill this gap in my heart, I threw on the tape measure bow bracelet and this kitschy charm bracelet from my kiddie years. This bracelet always brings me's probably the unicorn charm. In fact, there's about a 98% chance that it's the unicorn charm. The rainbows-kitties-and-cupcakes girl in me really comes out whenever I see unicorns and pink.

Anyways, it's really off to bed for me now! Well, ice cream first of course. I'm tired as all get out and am in desperate need of my beauty rest. Being out late every night really isn't worth it if your body is accustomed to waking up at 7am everyday. It's time to get my pep and perk back!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Book Review: Nancy Drew

I've been stuck in a reading rut lately. I have been plugging away at Transforming a Rape Culture but have needed to take a break from it because reading an entire book on rape and sexual abuse weighs on me emotionally. It's hard to bear many of those words and realities, no matter how invested in the subject you are. Because of this, I've needed something light and fun to read and for this, I've turned to Nancy Drew.

Nancy Drew is probably one of my top literary heroes of all time. A fierce feminist, able to master just about any skill and never fearful of anything, there's nothing about Ms. Drew that isn't admirable. It's no wonder that women of all ages have fallen head over heels for the young female detective. The books originated in the 1930s, written by various ghost writers under the pseudonym Carolyn Keene, as an answer to the female  version of The Hardy Boys. Of course, Nancy Drew worked solo, with a perfectly pressed wardrobe and a sporty blue convertible. Nancy Drew was well ahead of her time; An independent young woman of 18, she possesses poise and immense self assurance. Every time that Nancy begins a new daring task, I get giddy with excitement and admiration for the teen sleuth. It's clear why the character of Nancy Drew was inspiration to such great women as Hillary Clinton, Sandra Day O'Connor, Sonia Sotomayer, and Barbara Walters.

The original series starts off with The Secret of the Old Clock in which Ms. Drew falls into a mystery of inheritances and mistaken wills. In just the first book, you already have a sampling of Nancy's many skills and her natural gift of sleuthing. By only the third book in the series, Nancy has had a number of near-death accidents, death threats, dangerous trappings, and boating accidents. Through all this, she manages to keep full composure and maintain her quick wit and appreciation of fine details.

Since original publication in 1930, the books have been re-edited in order to evolve to current cultural standards, including the exclusion of many racist remarks. While reading Nancy Drew, one must keep in mind that they are written with simple language and lack much flourish. Each new adventure that Nancy goes on is elaborate in such a way that they need no extra embellishment. The strong willed young woman's character is enough to hold the reader drawn into each new mystery and adventure.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Je t'aime, mais rien de plus

Has anyone been watching the Olympics? I'm kind of behind on asking this, considering they end this weekend, but I'm addicted. Here're some brief thoughts: I love the gymnastics in particular. Gabby Douglas is the cutest thing on Earth. The pole vaulting is hilarious. Ryan Lochte interviews are also hilarious.
Anyways, I especially like sitting down on the couch with a huge bowl of ice cream and chocolate sauce while I watch the games. Very American, no? The other day I was feeling inspired and did a couple of cartwheels in the backyard, which was spectacularly refreshing. But really, I feel cheated. I should have stuck with gymnastics when I was little, seeing as I am the perfect height to be tumbling around on a sweaty gym floor or tossed between uneven bars. My parents should have been more insistent that I stick with it...damn my poor attention span!
Anyways, now that I got my Olympic talk out of the way...this shirt is new. I went out with a couple of friends yesterday and ended up finding this shirt in the sale rack of Macy's. I don't usually go for shirts with too much graphic or distracting text, but something about this was sweet and simple...almost romantic. Not to mention, it's super soft and swingy. I love crop tops for the summer...maybe I'll be able to find a way to wear them in winter. But probably not, considering that I usually layer three shirts during the icy winter months. Oh well, it'll still be around in spring!
Look at that! I'm already getting ready for winter. I'm like a bear preparing for hibernation. I keep thinking about winter; What I will wear, what I want to do, how I'll become bitter about it getting dark at 4p.m. and about how awful it is waiting for a bus on those -5°F days. But I also love winter. It's romantic and cozy. There're cable knit sweaters and turtlenecks. Ice skating, snowmen, fuzzy boots, hot chocolate, Santa Claus and his reindeer, penguins, polar bears....okay, I live in Minnesota, scratch the last couple. But the rest are wonderful and glorious and can only come with cooler weather and snow.

But back to summer.
These shorts were shoved into the bottom of my drawer and so I had nearly forgotten about them. I recovered them the other day and made a mental note to wear them. Honestly, they're a bit short in the back for me to wear them without tights so I was waiting for cooler weather, but today presented an equal opportunity.
I had put tights on to wear at the event I was speaking at tonight and couldn't be bothered to take them off once I had put together tonight's outfit. That being said, I was lounging around the house and didn't feel like wearing a pencil skirt whilst lounging. (How many more times do you think I can use the word "lounge" in this blog post?) Enter, the shorts. Remember when I DIY-ed these last year? You don't?!?! Well, now you can. Despite being way-too-short in the behind area, they're super comfy, perhaps because of the chintsy stretch-denim fabric.
I'm actually disappointed that I didn't get to wear this outfit for longer. I'm going to need to find a good excuse to wear this out, since I like it so much. And yes, I know I'm wearing those shoes happy that I'm not also wearing the leather vest!
I'm out of town for the rest of the weekend, so I'll catch you on the flipside (whatever the heck that means)! xx