Tuesday, February 26, 2013

winter winter

Winter Winter. In Minnesota, winter seems to have no end. From November through April we're stuck in frigid temperatures and snow and ice and occasionally slush on those days where it teasingly warms up to the upper 30s. Save for Christmas, everything is worse during the winter. Simple everyday activities become tedious, a chore, and one that often results in frozen toes. You know that the outside is unavoidable and that you just have to suck it up, put on wool socks and an extra sweater, and do what you have to do. Seeing as this is my 19th winter in Minnesota, I'm pretty used to the weather - there's no escaping it - but even I, come late-February, grow anxious.
I've been trying to spend my time indoors (dreading the moment when I have to leave - usually for school or work nonetheless, ick!) cleaning and marking things off my to do list. I've also been trying to find creative new things to do with outfits. Okay, okay, I admit there's not a whole lot that's "creative" about this look, but it's different from the jeans, sweater, and flannel that I have been wearing.
I always forget about this tulle skirt that I tend to shove into the back of my closet. I bought it at Urband Outfitters when I was about 16 and it is way way way too big for me. Hence why I never wear it. But for this particular occasion, I thought, why not just belt it and wear an oversized sweater over? So that is precisely what I did.
My current mood about everything is that I don't want to get out of bed. Getting out of bed is my biggest struggle of the day. It is worse than deconstructing Foucault or bell hooks or Judith Butler. It is worse than my night class on communication theory, in which the professor wears sweatpants everyday and drones to an auditorium, pausing occasionally to scribble something in tiny illegible handwriting on the white board. In order to make getting out of bed a tiny bit better, I have been wearing cozy, oversized sweaters and socks so that I can nestle into them and warm myself. Hey, I'm not fooling myself or anything, but it at least makes the process of having to actually live during the winter months a tad more bearable!
I think I was a bear in a past life.
I don't know if I've even bothered to take these Doc Martens off my feet for the past 5, going on 6, weeks. They're grippy for icy mornings (and nights), I can trudge through snowbanks in them, and they don't weigh 15 pounds a piece like my snow boots do. In fact, in an attempt to procrastinate further on studying tonight, I may just have to write an ode to them.
I also decided that it was high time to bring out this Eddie Bauer sweater again. I went almost 5 weeks without wearing it, fearing that I was overwearing it (does 'everyday' define overwearing?). But, it's back in all its beautiful, cozy, never-left-the-bed glory!
I just got stuck on the phone for an hour and now I have loads of homework to finish. I have an exam tomorrow for a class in which I don't think I've even learned anything yet - yikes! Wish me luck and stay warm friends xx

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

americana beauty

I obviously know what you're thinking: Woah Chloe, since when did you become a rockstar?!?!?!
The answer: since Friday afternoon when I came home to find a package on my backstep containing these beautiful pants and this beautiful shirt from Guess. I'm a huge fan of Guess and their brand image, so when I recieved an email from the people over at Chictopia offering a collaboration, I could hardly resist, and immediately started picking out my favourite pieces and imagining the future outfits I would put together.
Right when I ran across the Midnight Music Child Tee it was love. Instantaneous. I suddenly had all these images of summer and soft fabrics and going bra-less, listening to the Grateful Dead and being carefree. It reminded me of my mum and also my sister when she was in her brief hippie-goth phase in junior high. I eagerly put it in my virtual shopping cart with summer in mind, completely forgetting the sub-zero temps outside, or even the several feet of snow and ice which will remain for the next couple of months.
Oh well, one can dream, right? One can also layer. And I am even more pro at layering than I am at dreaming; You need to be in order to physically survive Minnesota winters.
The other piece I picked out were these beautiful, lush, pure sex Brittney Denim Leggings in Copper Distress. Yeah, did you hear that? Pure sex in super stretchy, Cotton/Polyester/Spandex distressed jeggings. Who knew? I usually avoid denim like the plague (but can you really avoid the plague?) but when I saw these, I immediately started drooling all over my keyboard and into my cereal. These bad boys are not to be avoided. I was intrigued by the supposedly extra-stretchy material these are made of. Guess seemed to market them as made from some sort of space age fabric, so I immediately put a pair in my (virtual) shopping cart. I hesitated but ended up putting a size 24 in after reading that their jeans should easily accomodate my rather wide hips. If you're one of those girls like me where your waist to hip ratio differs by 11 - 12 inches, these babies are a dream. I might just never take them off. But their pure sexiness is already causing riots, so it's best to give them a rest here and there.
They recieved appraisal from my small group today in Feminist Media Studies - apparently they appeal to college-age feminists, which is great. I will wear them to the next Women's Activist Collective meeting on campus and instead of being referred to as "that new girl" I will be "that badass rockstar."
Look at those! Jeez, what beauties. I could write haikus, sonnets, love songs to these jeans!
As soon as I put them on, boyfriend and I immediately felt the rock star vibes and decided to take some portraits (because what else is one to do on a Friday night?) where we really embraced our moody musician side. This would be our album cover if we were a duet producing some sort of gothic-folk-americana-rock music, I imagine. Pure badass-ness (badassery?):
Anyways, that's enough for now! I'm pretty sure my entire journal tonight will be about how much of a crush I have on these pants, wondering if they like me back. Sorry boyfriend, but I need a break from writing about you for once!
Again, thanks so much to both Guess and Chictopia for including me in this collaboration. I had loads of fun and cannot wait for warmer temps so that I can keep experimenting with these pieces (and my inner rockstar). Make sure you go over to Chictopia to check out my look! But for now, I must read endless chapters of Stuart Hall and bang my head against the wall in media studies agony. Take care friends and embrace your inner rockstar xx

Sunday, February 10, 2013

time to go home

Maybe it's the new year, maybe it's my undergrad career ending, maybe it's the new boyfriend, but something has been causing me to want change in my life. I've been spending way too much time lately going through photos from when I was 17 and thinking about how genuinely happy I was. The photo on my work badge was from this same time period. Whenever I take it out of my pocket to swipe one of the locked areas at work, I catch sight of my bouncy, cheerful grin and this spark in my eyes that just hasn't been there in the past couple of years.
Here's my goal: get that spark back.
I often look back at 17 and wonder what was so great. I remember that I had the most terrific boyfriend who I thought I'd love forever. I had just switched departments at work and was loving my new position. I was finishing up my last bit of high school and finally able to graduate. My best friend and I were preparing our trip to backpack Europe over the summer. I was baking a cake every week and spending my days off at home alone with my pup, blogging, singing, watching TV, and also somehow doing all my homework. It's time to get this all back again. And even though the situation won't be exactly the same (you're only 17 once, unless you're Zac Efron, right?), I think I can find this youthful delight once again. It's time to go back home.
It was snowing today (though the "blizzard" all the weathermen were frantic about apparently never came full-fledged) so I made an extra effort to get outside and get some photos. The weather has been so crummy lately, whenever I even think about taking outfit photos, I just put my pajamas on and collapse back into bed. Spring come soon! I want to have fun outside again! Hell, I just want to have fun again!
The boyfriend and I did get away the other day to go to the art museum, which was refreshing. I do love the museum, and a day off with the boyfriend reminded me of being young(er) again. Let's keep this up!
Anyways, I have loads and loads of homework to get done this week. And next week. And the week after. And the week after that. Pretty much, for the next 13 or 14 weeks, I have tons of homework to be doing. I'm still working out my schedule so that I have time to fit everything in - including blog! In the meantime, sit tight friends, keep saying sweet things, keep loving each other, and have a great Valentine's Day! xx

Sunday, February 3, 2013

How to Have Fun (Alone) on Valentine's Day!

(The Little Rascals, Source Unknown)

I feel like everytime this time of year rolls around (February), people start getting anxious about Valentine's Day. Just the other day my boyfriend blurts out, "Oh crap! Valentine's Day is in a couple of weeks!" and yesterday I had to rally a co-worker into believing that the 14th of February is way more fun when you're single. Whether or not this is true, I think what's most important, like every holiday, is to get to the root of the meaning and toss away all anxiety about the day.

Valentine's Day is my second favourite holiday (after Christmas). Honestly, I love all the red and pink, the hearts and lace and glitter and sweet things like that. I don't need the chocolate or red roses or jewelry or romantic dinner dates. In fact, that's what I detest about Valentine's Day. So, in lieu of all those material expectations, let's clear away the stress surrounding the holiday and enjoy what lies beneath the consumerism surface: love.

1. Send Valentine's cards to your friends and family.
There're few things I love more than getting post. Getting a letter in the mail from a friend makes me swell with appreciation, much more than a text does. There's something so sweet about knowing that someone lovingly wrote something out, put it in the envelope, and mailed it out to you. It makes me feel loved. For Valentine's Day, I always send out cards. Last year they were all, admittedly, store bought, but I filled them with little poems and messages reminding my friends how much I appreciate them - that they are loved. This year, I'll be doing handmade cards, still filling them up with sweet sentiments and my token of gratitude that they are my friend.

2. Listen to some romantic music - and feel hopeful.
Quit feeling sorry for yourself that you're single or stuck with stupid boyfriend/girlfriend. Let's do away with the break up music, the songs that make you feel alone. Feel happy that there's love in the world and listen to some romantic music! I've created a bit of a playlist for you to get you in the groove:

1. Al Bowlly - Heart & Soul
2. Ricky Nelson - Sweeter Than You
3. The Donkeys - I Like the Way You Walk
4. Sam Cooke - Lovable
5. Etta James & Harvey Fuqua - If I Can't Have You
6. Jackie Wilson - Higher & Higher
7. Marvin Gaye - Pride & Joy

3. Stay In, Eat What You Want.
In my best Valentine's Day as a singleton to date, a friend and I had a feast. We made steak, drank champagne and hot chocolate, and finished it all off with the grand finale: an ice cream sundae complete with rocky road ice cream, heart shaped marshmallows, chocolate covered pretzels, strawberries, and chocolate chips. Going out for dinner is overrated, single or not. There's no point in stressing yourself out over a dressing up, reservations, a fancy dinner, high prices, etc. Cut that out and have fun, even if you just order a pizza.

4. Watch a Movie.
I'm really not much of a chick flick person. Let's cut the crap: your average American romantic comedy is ridiculous. It makes it seem like finding love is an impossibility unless you jump through a number of hoops and suffer some sort of great loss (e.g. lose your memory, develop a terminal illness, suffer the loss of your best friend, move across the country alone, etc.). Then, and only then, can you fall in love. And what's worse, these days, the dialogue is all the same. The characters are the same. The plots are all the same. It's boring. Don't make yourself suffer through some insipid Nicholas Sparks "romantic comedy" just because it's Valentine's Day and you want to make yourself feel miserably alone. But, that isn't to say that you shouldn't watch a movie with some romance in it. Below are a few suggestions, sans any impossible love stories, buckets of tears, feelings of hopelessness, over-used one liners, etc. (Or, if you're critical like me, these movies won't make you want to vomit.)

When Harry Met Sally (1989)
The Gold Rush (1925)
Bringing Up Baby (1938)
Top Hat (1935)
Seven Chances (1925)
2 Days in Paris (2007)
Bridget Jones' Diary (2001)

5. Don't Feel Sorry for Yourself.
It's okay to feel sad or lonely sometimes, but Valentine's Day is not the time for that. Contrary to popular belief, Valentine's Day doesn't exist to remind you how single and pathetic you are - it's to remind you of the love that you have in your life. Even if you spend Valentine's Day with your cat, your dog, your fish, your mother, best friend, old friend, new friend, boyfriend, girlfriend, sister, brother, it doesn't matter. Just be with someone you love, even if that person you love is yourself.