Sunday, July 26, 2009

Thrifted Finds

Many of the thrift stores I've gone to have been of the megamart variety, filled with musty air and racks upon racks of well-worn, outdated clothing. (Or clothing that never was stylish.) Others have been upscale little vintage places so expensive you'd hardly believe that the wares are second-hand.

On a recent lunch break from work, I discovered a delightful place in Kensington, Md. that falls somewhere in the middle. Of course, I can't find my receipt and remember its name right's a small store on a side street, just a short walk away from some sandwich joints, a gas station and a CVS. It's not a place you'd necessarily expect a cute thrift boutique in part of an old converted house, well-lit with natural light, clean, and accented by charmingly creaky wooden floors. It felt like I was browsing through someone's personal closet.

The women's things were mostly in one bedroom-sized room. Not a huge selection but a diverse one, from Guess jeans and Ralph Lauren shirts to shoes from Target. I tried on a bunch of things and ended up with this:

FCUK jeans with embroidery -- $17

Very comfy! I love the weathering on these jeans and the awesome embroidery. Even though they were labeled as capris, they fit me as full-length pants. :)

Express pink suede skirt -- $4

This skirt was on clearance after originally having been $18. It's real suede and has a lining, too. It fits very well, so even though I'm not yet sure *how* I will wear a pink suede skirt...I'll find a way. Probably with black heels and a black sweater. In the photos I have it paired with chocolate brown. (And below...that's me standing on the side of my bathtub, lol, facing the only full-length mirror in my aparment.)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Lady GaGa, gone ga ga

I like Lady Gaga's edgy, over-the-top, artsy style, but is nothing sacred? Not even poor Kermit the Frogs?!

LG wore this to an interview in Germany. It's her second Muppet-themed outfit in recent memory -- both of which are the creations of fashion designer Jean-Charles de Castelbajac and debuted at this year's fashion week in Paris. (*Click on the links for photo sources.)

She said in an interview that, "My friends and I in New York dress this way because it’s the way we live...We believe in vanity."

"I dress this way because my whole life is art, and my whole life is performance."

This particular Kermit outfit is still too "out there" for me. But she has a point. LG is 23. I'm 23. She's roaming the world dressed however she pleases, and I'm spending my days sitting behind a desk dressed in ill-fitting "work clothes" more suited for a middle aged mom. (Okay, not all the I'm wearing dark skinny jeans, a stylish green button-down shirt and a delicate gold-colored necklace with light brown gemstone petals. But you get the idea...)

And look, I really like being a journalist and for the most part, am very happy at my job. (I only have a week and a half left though, actually!) But it wouldn't kill me to cut loose a bit more on ocassion. For all of us to be inspired to take more risks. Have more fun with fashion. :)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Hooray! Goodbye Crocs?

I'm starting to see articles declaring that the era of Crocs may be over. The company is hitting financial straits and has reportedly laid off a third of its employees.

Google "Crocs" and you'll find articles like "Once Trendy Crocs Could Be on Their Last Legs" from the Washington Post on Thursday, July 16. Or "Crocs face extinction as maker faces bankruptcy" from the UK Telegraph on Friday, July 17.

Or my personal favorite title - "
Crocs May Return To The Nowhere From Whence They Came" in something called Media Post, also from Thursday. Right on.

Frankly, I don't see Crocs as being like bell bottoms or day-glo clothes, trends that were attractive and fresh when they came out, then managed to make a semi-nostalgia-fueled comeback. Because Crocs were never attractive to me. When were they trendy?? Please tell, me WashPost...or don't because I'm glad I missed that era.

Are the shoes useful? Maybe you could argue that. But as far as I recall, no one older than five ever rocked Crocs as the hottest fashion statement. I don't own a pair and really don't have a desire to. If they are comfortable in the privacy of one's own home or garden that is reasonable. But it's like slippers...I put on real shoes if I'm going outside.

Finally, a Fox News article sums up how I think we'll reflect on Crocs in decades to come:

Perhaps the biggest "problem" with Crocs? Their high quality. Designed to be practically indestructible, consumers apparently find little need to ever buy a second pair.

But while one expert told the Post that the company is “dead and they don’t know it,” CEO John Duerden isn’t quite ready to throw in the towel.

"The bottom line is, people talk about Crocs," he said. "They either love them or hate them, but it's in the vernacular."

As were Hammer pants.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Audrina Patridge 1.0??

I don't know how I stumbled upon this photo, but it's of a woman named Michelle DellaFave who was apparently a regular on The Dean Martin Show in the late 60s and early 70s.

My first thought was that she looks like a blonde version of Hills star/occasional actress/Justin-Bobby dater Audrina Patridge. (Though with teeth that are less blindingly white.) Come on, that's the same face Audrina always makes on the show, right?!


By the way, Audrina is reportedly already filming her own reality show. I don't know about you, but I'm not particularly interested. Best of luck to her, though. I'm not even sure I'm going to watch the Hills now that Lauren is gone.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

My First Chopsticks (Sort Of)

When I first moved to Maryland last September, I rented a room in a communal house. My incredibly sweet landlady allowed me to use all the fully-furnished common areas, including the kitchen. There was no need for me to bring my own cookware or utensils since they were all provided.

Well, this past April, I spread my little wings and moved into my first real apartment. (Okay, technically it's a condo I split with the new landlord's in-laws...but it is a big change from living in a communal house, since the kitchen is the only shared room here, and we even have our own garbage cans in there.)

Because of the communal house situation, I had almost no kitchen supplies when I moved into my new place. And while I've acquired some pots, pans, cups, bowls and other kitchen tools, I never got around to getting real utensils or plates. I'm moving again in the fall and don't really want to invest in real stuff. It's just more to pack up and move. And part of me, perhaps in a strange way, wants to wait to buy utensils and plates for the day when I can stock them on the shelves of a real 'home'...not like where I live now, which, in spite of its good points, is merely a place where I'm living short-term.

So, I've been using paper plates and plastic utensils. Yep....a bit embarrassing, since I love to cook, do it quite frequently, and then serve my food on all these disposable things! Like I said, I have some bowls, I have some sharp knives for cutting, two miso soup spoons, big plastic spoons and spatulas...and yesterday, I added chopsticks to the mix.

I cook quite a bit of Asian-inspired food and was running low on disposal wooden chopsticks (waribashi) I'd gotten along with meals various take-out places. I picked up a package of Korean metal chopsticks and then I spotted this set:

So pretty! With their own plastic case! Only $5!

Now, these are far from the first chopsticks I've ever used or had in my possession. In fact, my mom has at least a few pairs of attractive, reusable chopsticks in the home where I grew up. But these are the first chopsticks that are mine, all mine! And since they have a case they will be easy to store flat, instead of ending up shoved with pens and pencils in some mug on my desk. (I don't have any drawers allocated for my use in the kitchen...)

Plus, I feel like they add a little bit of beauty in my life, albeit in plastic, mass-produced form. :)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I'm Back x2...And This Time I'm Bringing Sexy With Me

Heard that song on the radio today, lol...So, it's been a while. I just haven't been in the mood to write lately, particularly about beauty. My life hasn't felt very beautiful lately. It's sadly just trudging along, waiting for the right time for lots of good things to happen. Namely, once this month ends and I can go home to New York and do some traveling and prepare for the next phase of my life's journey.

I have gotten back into art lately -- making greeting cards. Oh my gosh, I've turned my bathroom into a spray paint studio! I will definitely post some of my work up here in the future.

I've also started watching Asian dramas and am totally hooked! I'm currently watching the Taiwanese version of "Meteor Garden," a show about a poor girl who becomes the rival-turned-love-interest of the richest boy in their very affluent college. It's got drama, romance, humor and more. I'd definitely recommend it! This show and more are available for free -- for those of you who don't know -- on

Anyway, on to the sexiness...I was in a good mood after conducting an interview for my job today. (The interview had nothing to do with sexy-anything, to make that clear!) I met with a man to discuss his volunteer work as a court advocate for children for a story I'm writing. During the discussion, he explained that he'd decided while he was still working full-time that once he hit retirement, he would devote half his time to volunteer work and half to personal time.

Now that he's retired, he said he does just that. He volunteers with a slew of other organization, he and his wife travel, he reads books, he exercises, etc. What he kept saying is that when it comes to what someone gets involved in, it's all a matter of priorities; What's important to you to get done? It might not be the same goals as your neighbor or your friend, and that's fine. It's about determining what matters most to you and making it happen.

We all only have 24 hours in a day. We can't change the past, whether it was good or bad. What do you make priorities in your life from this point on?

This made me realize that I was putting too much of my energy into wasteful and silly things when I have to keep my head focused on the game, on the bigger picture. It made me think how sometimes I let important matters fall to the wayside. I'm not directionless by any means, but admittedly, since leaving college I've had lots of aspirations and barely know where to start. It's definitely comforting and empowering for me to consider the fact that I really can do a lot to influence my destiny. And I think an important step is defining some of my priorities and continuing to let those aspirations guide me in a positive way, instead of succumbing to anxiety about what I messed up in the past or what I'm afraid I can't do.

I left the interview feeling pumped -- the guy was really, really nice too, so it was enjoyable to lunch with him -- spent a hot hour on the Metro, and got back to the shopping mall where I was parked. I try not to shop on a whim but I fell in love with two rings in Charlotte Rousse today.

Forgive the lackluster photos, but let me share some sexy with you:

And by sexy I mean glamorous, empowered, bold, happy. I never wear rings on my pointer finger but that's where it fit best, and there's something I like about it there. I rarely wear big rings like this either, but hey, sometimes it just works!

The ring looks like the petals are lacquered. I think it's kind of retro-feeling. It cost $4.

The polish, which did not photograph well, is "Feverish Rose" by Sally Hansen. It's a dark-Barbie-esque pink. I topped it with a sparkly clear polish by Wet 'n Wild, which is subtle but noticeable. So these nails are quite girly!

Combine the ring, the nails, and a dose of self-confidence and...for a moment, I feel like I could take on anything in this world. :)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

I'm Back....With A Charming Blog Award

The very lovely Crystal at Brunette on a Budget passed this award on to me. What a nice gesture, especially since I've been a bit down/stressed lately, and uninspired to blog...though I have a lot of entries planned for the near future! Anyway on to the goods...

About the Award:

Apparently this award is bestowed on to blogs that are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this text into the body of their award.

I just love passing on love. Too many haters in this thanks, my blog sisters, for sharing positivity and making me smile!

Beautiful with Brains
If the shoe fits...
Peace Love Makeup
Vanity Treasure