Friday, November 28, 2014

Black Friday!

Thanksgiving was great, now it's time for Black Friday! I love Black Friday; it's the one day of the year when it's totally okay to wear all black! That's what Black Friday is all about, right? Wearing all black on a Friday? 




I guess some people celebrate Black Friday by waking up at 3:00am so they can join gobs of other sleep deprived people in shopping for $12 televisions and $3 iPads. That's all well and good, but I prefer to stand around in the snow, taking pictures of myself while the neighbors shake their head at my antics. I might not get a cheap TV out of it, but at least my shoes are full of snow.

For the curious: These photos were taken on Wednesday, and by Thursday morning, all that snow was completely gone. Spooky, right? Maybe my reverse psychology works? My black turtleneck is Banana Republic, and yes, my tulle skirt from Eshakti.com gets a lot of use. I think I wear it more than I wear jeans at this point, which tells me I'm living my life right.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Random Tuesday: Seester!


This is my sister, Jennifer. I'm the blonde with the huge mole. Funny, she was sitting right next to me but didn't bother to tell me about the mole... Anyway, my sister may be younger than me, but she has taught me some of the most important things I know, especially when it comes to style. 


See those amazing glasses she's wearing? They're vintage frames from the forties. When she first started wearing them, people didn't react well. People told her they didn't like the glasses, that they looked weird and made her look weird. Even her husband was honest and said he wasn't a big fan of the look. But she would just shrug and say, simply, "I like my glasses" and continue on with her life. Eventually, people became accustomed to seeing her in vintage cat-eye glasses. People started complimenting her. Her husband said they'd grown on him and he really liked them. They are now her signature.

It can be difficult to do something different from what you normally do. I think we all know the special hell that is stepping outside of your comfort zone for the first time, opening yourself up to criticism and judgement. I have always loved clothes and fashion, but I haven't always dressed like it. For years, I hid in over-sized jeans and sweatshirts and pulled my hair back because I didn't feel like I was good enough to dress like the women in the magazines I loved so much. It has taken me years of practice, but I finally feel confident in the way I dress. I do get some flak at times for over-dressing and showing up at a bar in a skirt and heels, but I just shrug and say, "I like my skirt and my heels" and go on with my life. It was really hard at first, but now the shrugging comes as easily as breathing. It looks a little like this:


Yep, I can honestly say that I owe my lady-like poise to my sister, who always inspires me and encourages me and usually dresses much better than me. She taught me that I am as good as those magazine models, that I do deserve to feel good about myself and whatever I choose to wear. She also taught me not to fear the Coach store in the mall, even though I couldn't afford anything in there. When I was hesitant to go into the store because I didn't "fit in," her exact paraphrased words were, "Pshaw, nobody buys anything from Coach, anyway; we have as much a right to be in there as anyone else does!" We then spent an entire three minutes looking at bags that neither of us really liked, and it was an exhilarating time. The sales person asked how I was doing, and I looked her straight in the eye and I said, "I'm good! How are you?" Yeah, take that! 

So, here's to the style inspirations in our lives, who teach us to give ourselves permission to go into the Coach store and to wear a skirt and heels to a small rock concert in a bar. I hope everyone has someone like my sister; it's definitely a nice bonus in life. 

For the curious: None of these photos were taken by me! The top two were taken by strangers wandering around London, and the bottom photo was taken by Tyson Habein and is not posed at all. Yes, that is me in my natural habitat, acting natural. My pink top is Jones New York, purchased from 6pm.com, my skirt is THE skirt that everyone asks about, bought from Eshakti.com. Best purchase ever. My glittery peep-toe heels are from Forever 21, bought online many years ago for a mere ten dollars. I wish I had a better view of them; they are ridiculously cute. 



Monday, November 24, 2014

Snow day!

I know it's snowy and wintry and all, but does that mean I can't wear cute outfits? Do I have to settle for something like this?



Don't get me wrong, I do love my coat and boots, as they do a great job keeping me warm, but they are stifling my style! If I'm going to be seen by my neighbors, I feel I should look put together. So why not shovel the deck in something like this? Beauty is pain, right?


Heels are a great choice for shoveling snow, as they will help chisel away at any ice, and the adrenaline rush from all the slipping and the sliding and the teetering will wake you up in a way coffee never could. Plus, do you see how good it looks? This look says, "Yes, I'm shoveling snow, but I'm also a lady!" 



Oh, don't worry about me; this skirt is 100% wool! I don't feel bad! In fact, I don't have any feelings at all in any of my extremities, so that's good, right? The sun is out, so it can't be that cold. Right? 


YES IT IS COLD. It is SO cold, you guys! The sun does nothing! I bet the neighbors aren't even home right now, anyway! I hope all my toes are still the right color... I think it's time to move the shoot indoors, at least for now.





Ah, indoors. The lighting isn't that great, but the heater is on. This skirt may be wool, but it's still a skirt, and I really should be retiring it until spring, but I just can't bring myself to do it. I wear more skirts and dresses during winter than I do any other time of the year. I think I just tend to give tights more credit than they deserve. Or maybe it's reverse psychology of some sort, like I think I can convince the weather it is wrong, and therefore, change it. Whatever the reason, I know it doesn't make sense, but I also know that style doesn't have to make sense. So there. :)

For the curious: My tee was made by my favorite fashion blogger, Rebecca from The Clothes Horse. I bought it from her Society 6 page, where she has all sorts of amazing creations. The skirt is a vintage Nordstrom brand, found for six whole dollars at Goodwill. Sometimes I get VERY lucky. The belt is a steal from Roulette Vintage and has become my favorite accessory. I wear it all the time; it's shocking how well it goes with everything! My coat is Columbia, bought on clearance last spring, and it is so very cushy and warm and I love it so, so, so much. I bought the black coat to replace this lavender awfulness, another Columbia coat bought on major clearance, which I wore for nearly a decade.

That coat was warm enough, but I hated the color (which showed every little scuff, scratch, and mark) and every time I wore it, I felt self-conscious and sloppy. It was a great lesson for me: Don't ever buy anything you don't love, even if it is a high-quality winter coat for a very low price. The practicality will never win out. NEVER. :)

Thursday, November 20, 2014

You know you want my shirt!

Remember this great outfit?



You should, as I have featured it on this blog not once, but twice, that second time being just a couple of days ago. Well, I have good news! Hell City Kitty is now selling their awesome band merchandise in their Etsy store! These shirts are designed and silk-screened by the members of the band, which makes the whole thing extra-special. I can say with certainty that your favorite big-time musicians are most definitely not doing that. I'll be keeping an eye on this shop for other designs, too; HCK is known for their killer tees, and I do believe there is more awesomeness brewing. So get yourself an incredible tee from some incredible musicians and even more incredible human beings! Seriously, the members of this band are some top-notch people, and it feels good to support them. :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Random Tuesday: The Birthday Dance.

Like most restaurants, the place where I work offers a complimentary dessert for birthdays and anniversaries. Also like most restaurants, the dessert is tiny and simple, but hey, free is free, right? Unlike most restaurants, the servers do not sing any kind of happy birthday ditty to the recipient of the free dessert. There is no clapping or chanting or rapping or anything at all; we are supposed to just light the candle, put the dessert down, wish whomever a happy whatever, and walk away. Somehow, being the kind of person I am, I changed the rules a little bit. I brought a woman a birthday dessert for her 92nd birthday, and she asked if I would sing to her. When I told her that we do not sing, she looked disappointed, so I immediately said, "But I could do a dance for you." It was her 92nd birthday, what else was I supposed to do? So I made up a little dance with jazz hands and a little bit of the Charleston and some wild facial expressions, and it was a hit. The woman told me I really made her birthday special, and that made me feel incredible. So, the birthday dance began, and it has become my signature at work. People come in and ask about it; others bring their friends so they can see the birthday dance. It's very popular, and I enjoy doing it. Here's a little video clip of it, if you're curious.




Sometimes, I get a little more extravagant with the dance, especially if it's Saturday (I'm the only server, so I don't have to worry about a coworker seeing and giving me a hard time about it) or if the restaurant is mostly empty, if it's for a regular (I love our regulars), or if it's for a really important birthday, like anything above 70. Ok, most of the time, I get pretty extravagant with it. Even when it's really busy, I make sure to take some time to make the birthdays special. Some people think I'm crazy for doing this, especially because it's not a job requirement, but I'm not crazy. I'm just delightful. I get asked all the time if I'm in theater...I do happen to participate in theater, but I wonder why anyone would assume that? 

For the curious: That video was taken by my boyfriend (Joe) while he was visiting. He had lunch at the restaurant, saw me walk past with a birthday cake, and started recording. You can't hear it on the video, but I go through an entire little routine to set up the dance. I talk about the importance of the birthday wish and remind them that if they wish for chocolate, they know beyond a doubt it will come true. This specific group came in a month or two ago, and I did the dance for them then. They came back for another friend's birthday just to see me, and I really couldn't tell them no, could I? 


Monday, November 17, 2014

FAQ

Since I started writing this blog almost three whole months ago, I have noticed a lot of people asking me the same questions. I am mostly an open book, so I have decided to answer a few frequently asked questions from my readers, and people in general. If you have other questions, feel free to email me at kalidikeds@gmail.com, or message me on my Facebook page.

What in the heck is a Kay-lee-dee-kids or Kar-lie-der-kins or Kah-bler-berg-gins or however you say it?

I get this question the most. It is pronounced "kah-lie-dee-keds," and it's an ancient word of questionable etymology that loosely translates to "humorous fashion blog." Ok, that's not true. It's the name for that sliver of sunlight that sneaks through the blinds and smacks you right in the eye while you're trying to eat dinner. Used in a sentence: "Agh, shut the curtains, the kalidikeds is blinding me!" Yeah...that's also not true. Ok, the truth is, I made it up. I created the word years and years ago when I first needed to create a username for a website, and I didn't want to use my name with some numbers like everyone else seemed to be doing. It came out of the depths of my strange mind, and has lived on for a good 15 years. This blog is titled Kalidikeds completely by accident. I set this page up a few years ago, and didn't know what I wanted to call it, so I made it Kalidikeds with the intent of changing it later. I forgot to change it before I posted my first post, and decided to just keep it. :)

Who takes your photos? They are so, so, so amazing, I refuse to believe an admitted beginner like yourself would be capable of such greatness! So, really, who's doing all that? Hmmm?

90% of all my photos are taken by me. I use a tripod and a remote shutter release or the timer on the camera. There are times when I can't possibly do a shoot by myself, so for those ideas, I do call in reinforcements. Could you imagine me doing this post with a tripod and a remote? No thanks! I have some amazing friends who are willing to help me out, and anytime I'm not the photographer for any photo I use, I will give credit where it is due. :) Also, while my photos aren't bad, I do think there is room for improvement, and I'm always working on getting better.

Speaking of cameras, what kind do you use? 

It's pretty basic, a Canon Rebel T3i. I have two lenses; a 50mm and the 18-55mm that came with the camera. I also use my iPhone, a lot more often than you might think. I'm still very much a beginner, so I don't like to offer advice, but my favorite source for photography information and inspiration is from the blog A Beautiful Mess, found right here. These two ladies are a bit more personable than most of the books and tutorials I've come across, and they have some really great tips!









How in the world do you have time to do this?

Honestly, I don't know how I manage to get all this work done. I spend nearly every minute of my spare time working on this blog, but it doesn't feel burdensome. I wake up early and work on it before I go to my actual job, and I start on it again as soon as my kids are in bed. I make lists, I set goals, and I plan ahead, and I opt to work on this instead of watching TV or going out or playing around on Facebook.

WHY are you doing this?

There are a few reasons I started this blog. I work in a place that requires me to wear a uniform. I wear head-to-toe black, every single day. Before I started this blog, I would always go from my work uniform to sweats, which would make me stay on my couch, which would make me feel depressed. This blog helps me stay out of my depressing sweat pants, which is good for everyone. I also really love fashion, clothes, photography, and writing, and this is a way for me to play around with all of these things, on my own terms. It's a fun hobby, and I have fun doing it, and it challenges and pushes me in a way I need to be challenged and pushed.

Where did you get your tulle skirt? 

I get asked about a lot of my clothes and shoes when I'm out and about, but this tulle skirt gets the most mentions.



It's no wonder to me; it's a great skirt! I do include product details at the end of each post to the best of my ability, but a lot of the time, my clothes are old and second hand and just can't be found anymore. This specific skirt, however, appears to still be available here (as of 11/16/14), though I paid a bit less for mine. 

Are you a student? How do you stay so skinny working in a restaurant? Where are the restrooms?

These are questions I get all the time at work. I'm a waitress, and most people cannot fathom a person working this job unless they are on their way to something bigger and better. I must be a student, right? No, I am not a student; I already have a degree, and I don't plan on getting another one any time soon. While my job is just a temporary stop, I do love it, and I feel lucky to have a job with great people, great customers, flexibility, and a discount on the best food in town. As for staying skinny...I really hate this question, and I always answer the same way: I wear a lot of black. The restrooms are to the right of the entrance. There's a sign; you can't miss it. :)


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Drape, push, fluff, flatten, slick, and puff.

So, as you may have figured out from my previous post, I have recently gone with a pixie cut. I kept my hair long-ish for years and years, all in the name of versatility. There is so much you can do with long hair! You can curl it and twist it and sculpt it into a representation of your feelings! Of course, all I ever did with my long hair was wear it down or pulled back in a ponytail. I guess I liked the idea of versatility more than the actual practice of it. I always thought that having short hair would mean never having to style it, but hey, I'm wrong a lot. Turns out, there are lots of ways to style a pixie! There are so many various ways to push your hair around on your head. You can have a few pieces of hair kind of draped over your forehead, or pushed a little further back or fluff them up a little or flatten them down a little or slick it all back and then puff it all up. It might look like the same style over and over and over, but trust me, they are all very different!

























An up-do is not completely impossible with a pixie cut, either! I call these amazing hair creations the "My daughter rocked this look as a baby" and the "Tsunami." Note how perfectly sane I look. 



I have a lot of hair accessories left over from my long-hair days, and it turns out that they can be used for short hair, too! The whole use-a-scarf-as-a-hair-thing thing was a real pain in the butt with long hair, but now I can do it without a problem. 






I think my favorite always has been and always will be the flower clip, which always looks great, no matter what kind of hair you have. One looks good, but all the clips looks even better! 



Okay, that last one is meant as a joke, but I have to admit, I really like the idea of a hair rainbow. If that giant pink flower weren't so giant, I might actually go out like that. Heck, I might do it even with the giant pink flower. It reminds me of Carmen Miranda, which can only be a good thing. :)

For the curious: My striped top is from Anthropologie and is so much cuter than these photos show. Every one of my hair accessories comes from Forever 21, except for the yellow flower clip, which was made by my sister. To make my hair perfectly pliable, I use L'Anza Taffy. It's not actually taffy, though it kind of looks like it. 












Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Random Tuesday

As I was falling asleep last night, I randomly came up with an idea for a post for my blog: Random Tuesday. A random list of random things that would fall on any old day of the week if it were truly random, but I'm making concessions and parking it on Tuesday. So, here we go, the first Random Tuesday!

1. The word "random" is misused a lot these days, and to make sure I was using it correctly, I did some research and unearthed this article all about the word. In case you were wondering, "random" is meant to refer to something without pattern or objective, that is perfectly unbiased. This list is, therefore, truly random. It is not meant to describe things that are inconsequential, rare, or absurd, as in, "Wow, that thing you just said about dinosaurs was totally random." So when I said earlier that I randomly came up with an idea as I was falling asleep, that was incorrect usage, technically. Forgive me.

2. I'm a bit of a stickler for things like proper word usage, grammar, and spelling. This second point of my list is also not truly random, as it is an extension of the previous point of the list. Oops.

3. Winter is here.

4. I found out this morning that my daughter did not know I have a job. She asked to stay home today (she is not sick), and I told her she couldn't because I have to work. She was honestly surprised and said, "Wait...you have a job?" She then told me I should quit my job because, according to the tale of the city mouse and the country mouse, it is better to be poor and secure than to be rich and afraid. Rich people get robbed, you see, and because I have a job, she thinks I'm rich, and therefore, at risk of robbery. Kids are funny. :)

5. Bunnies purr. It's not like when cats do it, but the motivation is the same. They make this little grinding noise with their teeth when they are happy. They make grinding noises when they are unhappy, too...now I am wondering if my bunnies really hate it when I pet them.

6. For the first time ever, I am not bothered by the snow. It waited for November, so I am grateful for that. Check back in a couple of months, though, and I will likely resemble Jack Nicholson in The Shining. 

7. If you add cilantro to your kale smoothie, it will taste like cilantro and nothing else. It's a good thing I like cilantro. 

8. Today is Veterans Day, and I say thank you to all those who have served, and who are still serving. My boyfriend Joe was in the Marines; my brother-in-law, Dave, is still serving in the Air Force. I have countless friends and relatives in every other branch of the military, and I am grateful for their sacrifices. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Man-Candy Monday!

I've noticed a tiny trend on Facebook and Instagram; on Mondays, people are posting pictures of dudes with the hashtag #mcm attached to it. It took me a while to figure out what "mcm" meant. I wondered if it was some kind of ultra-secret Roman numeral code, or if it stood for "my cute man" or "make cupcakes mocha" or something like that. Turns out, it stands for "man-candy Monday," and suddenly, all those pictures of dudes make sense. I have noticed there's also a #wcw, which I will assume stands for "woman candy Wednesday." I don't participate in such rituals myself, mostly because I forget that Mondays are designated for man-candy, and who wants to see man-candy Thursday? That is against the rules! Well, this time, I happened to remember man-candy Monday, so I'm going to play along, just this once! Check it out, my first ever #mcm!





There he is, my man-candy! Check out his amazing locks! I think he looks pretty good, but maybe a haircut would be better?


Just so you know, it is apparently very weird to take photos during a haircut, and even weirder to do so while wearing a tulle skirt and heels. While I was documenting this momentous occasion, a couple of older guys came in and stopped dead in the doorway and just stared at me for a good minute. One of the guys said, "Uh...this is Great Clips, right?" It was pretty awkward until one of the other stylists came over and whisked the confused men away. But anyway, check out my man-candy with a lot less hair!










He's such a great model; he requires very little direction at all and just knows what looks good. Plus, he's super nice to me and always tells me I'm great, even when I don't feel like I'm so great. Everyone needs a support system, and I'm so lucky to have this guy as a part of mine! Even though he is currently clear across the ocean, spending a month in Ireland, he's still a huge part of my daily life. I just hope he decides to come back... ;)

For the curious: I don't know where Joe bought his awesome elephant tee, but he left it at my house by mistake, so I can tell you that it is from Obey. The plaid hoodie went with him, so I can't tell you anything about it, except that it has a zipper and a hood. His shoes are shoes, bought from where people buy shoes. He got his hair cut at Great Clips, by a fun and very tolerant lady whose name is written on a business card that I can't seem to find now. :/

Friday, November 7, 2014

Wonder Woman!!

So, I have to admit something. Writing this blog is hard work. Like, really hard work. Each post represents hours of photography, writing, editing, brainstorming, and snack-eating. I am mostly a one-woman show here. Sometimes I have a guest photographer help me out with shoots I can't possibly do by myself, but other than that, it's all me. I get lonely at my isolated corner desk. I forget to be social, which is vital to my survival, as I am an extrovert and need to suck the energy out of the souls of the people I happen to be around. Sometimes, the emotional side of writing like this is exhausting. It can be gut-wrenching, worrying about how my work will go over with my readers, wondering why some posts are more popular than others, and trying to break the code for a perfect post. I do love what I do, though, and I consider myself incredibly lucky to be doing it. I work on this thing when I'm sick as all crap and can barely move. I work on this thing when I'm too tired to think. I work on this thing early in the morning and late at night. If that isn't love, well then, just get out of here.

My work is about to get much, much easier. I have a new assistant! Her job is to inspire me, to remind me that I am awesome, and to make sure that I have a theme song playing in my head at all times. I added her just today, and she is amazing, a true force of nature.

                              

Isn't she magnificent? She even has her lasso of truth, which is vital for blog work! I am still in awe of her presence. She was an unexpected gift from a couple of incredible friends of mine, in exchange for some hard labor involving Barbie dolls. I love Wonder Woman! She is the epitome of bad-ass, a true hero! I wore a pair of Wonder Woman Converse sneakers for a couple of years before they finally disintegrated on me. They are still major favorites, even though I can't wear them anymore. I got so many compliments on these, even from complete strangers, most of them men who love comics.


Eventually, people started to associate me with all things Wonder Woman, and honestly, that was my evil plan all along. I haven't allowed myself to start a collection, since I tend to go overboard with such things. My new assistant just might be the start of something resembling a collection, though. I seem to be on a bad-ass kick, what with the pixie cut and now the addition of Wonder Woman and her invisible jet. How can I possibly stop now? I need all the Wonder Woman things!

For the curious: My assistant happens to be a mint condition 2003 DC Comics Wonder Woman Barbie, and she has a suitcase, too. My friends were going to sell her in their eBay shop, but instead, they gave her to me. Pretty sweet, right? I have the best friends on the planet, I swear. The Converse sneakers were purchased in a Journeys store in a mall in Spokane a little over two years ago. I don't think this specific style is available anymore, but I have seen other Wonder Woman Converse sneakers out there. I don't know how I've managed to resist buying all of them. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Pixie me!

Coco Chanel said, "A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life." I'm inclined to file this little quote under the "so true" category, because it just seems right. Is there any better way to say, "Hey, look at me, I'm up to something" than to drastically change your hair? I think not. I have been tip-toeing toward a pixie cut for the last few months, and today, I finally took the plunge. I am a pixie!








I've always admired women with short hair. There's something brave about a woman with short hair; they seem to exude confidence and elegance and sophistication, but also a little bit of bad-assery. I've wanted to try a pixie cut for years, but never had the guts to do it.  Now that it's done, I love it! I don't know why I waited so long! I feel so liberated and so cute! My daughter told me I look great, and that I look like Ellen, so I think I may have to keep this up forever.   

For the curious:
My black dress is from Kohl's a few years ago, and it is from Jennifer Lopez's line. I never thought I'd buy something with her name on it, but this dress has become a staple in my wardrobe, and I love it. It's wool, so it's perfect for fall and winter. My amazing gold belt is vintage, purchased from a lovely little Etsy shop, Roulette Vintage. I'm not wearing tights. My legs are pink because the wind is so, so cold. 

Monday, November 3, 2014

NaNoWriMo!

Well, it is November once again. That means it's time for NaNoWriMo, which means it's time for me to do a lot of terrible, terrible writing. For those of you who don't know, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, and it's a challenge to write a novel, or 50,000 words, in one month. You can set up a profile and keep track of your word count at the NaNoWriMo website, and if you complete the challenge (we call it winning), you can download all kinds of cool swag, like a certificate you can print and a banner you can use for your Facebook page to show all your friends that you won. It's a bit of a big deal. I won last year, after writing about 40,000 of the 50,000 words in the final three days of the challenge, long after I had decided that writing is stupid and I wasn't going to finish the damn thing, anyway. My novel was awful, deplorable, even. It was full of plot holes and poorly developed characters and it was raining cats and dogs with cliches (see what I did there?) but none of that matters, because the point of NaNoWriMo is not to write well, but to write. Period. And write, I did. And write, I will. I mean, I am...writing another NaNoWriMo novel. You know what I mean, right? So far, I'm at 6,181 words, so I'm ahead of the daily average to finish on time, and I have no doubt I'll be completing the challenge this year. I think I might even finish early, and use the rest of the month to not shave, like all the guys are doing for November. Or, maybe I'll just keep on writing. It's so glamorous, a perfect opportunity to model:





Yeah. We'll just see how this goes. I moved my office off the couch and to my desk, which should help things. And of course, I have Wonder Woman to guide me, so I can't possibly go wrong. Just please don't ask me what my novel is about. I honestly don't know what it's about, even 6,181 words into the thing. Let me assure you this: There are people, and stuff happens to them. It will be a riot. A tremendous, embarrassing, 50,000 word riot. I can't wait to finish it. :)

For the curious: That hoodie is old, old old, from Old Navy. It was a Christmas gift from well over a decade ago, and it is lined with fake fur and it is the most incredible hoodie ever made. I think it helps me write. My billboard is filled with encouragements from my kids, including a picture my daughter drew of a plane over a bunch of clouds with a rainbow. It says, "Follow your dreams" and all the clouds have "Mom" written in them. It's amazing. My kids also love to write messages for me on the dry erase board. Right now, it says "Your the best" with two little hearts. I have the best kids. :)