Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas Eve and a Selfie Stick!

It's Christmas Eve, and I have the day off! Actually, I am in the middle of a Christmas miracle because somehow, I wound up with a four-day weekend. I will gladly take this gift of leisure time and use it in the best way possible: lounging around in a bar!







My boyfriend wasn't so lucky today, and had to work a half day. He happens to work in the bar of the restaurant where I used to work, which is pretty freaking fancy. I decided that his 6-year-old twin daughters and I needed to come invade his space for a moment to have Italian sodas, a nice lunch, and some fun with a selfie stick.


Clover, as captured by Piper.

Piper, as captured by Clover.
I had the phone set to selfie mode, but Clover and Piper preferred to have the camera facing out, so they could take pictures of the people around them instead of themselves. This thing is amazing; I can share my camera phone with small children without worrying about them dropping it or accidentally erasing all my contacts! It kept them happily occupied for a long time, which is a big deal when dealing with six-year-olds. I never thought I'd say this, but I love the selfie stick, and I'm so glad Joe bought one for me. That man knows gifts!

As for the rest of this non-holiday holiday, I plan to do some more lounging, this time in front of some classic Christmas movies with some Christmas cookies and some totally secular hot chocolate. I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday, whether you celebrate this one or not. I hope all of you with kids don't get woken up at 5am, and that your holiday dinner discussions don't get too controversial. And most of all, I hope that if you have one of those Elves, that you pack it away with as much joy as I do. :)

For the curious: My massive, soft, cashmere cardigan is Michael Kors, bought for a song from my favorite Instagram shop, @senias_shop. I will be wearing it a lot because it's like a robe you can wear as clothes! So, so comfy. My boots are Dirty Laundry from Mod Cloth, and I'm not sure how I've made it this long without a pair of casual boots. I usually wear my sneakers in the snow, which isn't a great idea, but more feasible to me than wearing my practical but ugly snow boots. These are perfect, as they handle the snow and ice beautifully, and the faux fur lining makes them extra soft and warm. I also love that I can fold them down, or wear them taller as needed. 



Monday, December 21, 2015

Bunny Tights!

I love dresses and skirts, and though I do wear them plenty during the warmer months, I find that I gravitate toward them more often when it's freaking freezing out. Who knows why I do this? Maybe it's my own version of being perpetually late to the party. Maybe I'm a badass rebel. Maybe I'm just not very practical. Whatever the reason, it doesn't matter because I know how to do it right: with tights and layers!




I don't know what I wore before I bought this dress, but it was probably lame, whatever it was. I've been trying different ways of making this dress seem more fresh. This time, I went with the long sleeve tee layered underneath, and the most adorable tights in the whole entire world. Do you see that? Business in the front, bunnies in the back! I almost died when I found these tights, and I might still go back and buy myself a few extra pairs just to have when I inevitably wear these to pieces. Because believe me, I will wear these to shreds. Check out the details:


Eeeee! 

Another reason I wear dresses during winter: I don't spent much time outside, anyway. I lasted for about a minute in the icy wind before packing up my camera and running back inside. I know the lighting is better outside, but I often ask myself, is it really worth it? 


In other news, I still adore my vintage gold belt and will never, ever stop wearing it with this dress. I feel like they were made to be together! As for shoes, I usually wear a ballet flat with pretty much everything, but I've been wanting something more like an oxford, and decided to start simple with some slip-ons with a moderate heel and dangerously slippery soles. It's okay if a shoe is dangerous as long as it's cute, right?



But seriously, you guys. These tights. For real.

For the curious: My old faithful black fit and flare dress is and always will be Jennifer Lopez for Kohls. I got my floral sleeved top from Blooming Lily Boutique, and the bodice is striped like the cuffs on the sleeve. My amazing tights are from Tabbisocks, who will definitely be getting more of my money in the very near future. My shoes are second hand, bought from an Instagram shop many moons ago. I can't remember which shop for the life of me, but I can tell you they are from Easy Spirit, and they are incredibly comfortable. 








Sunday, December 20, 2015

Changes and Stuff!

Where am I? What year is it? What is this keyboard-y, screen-y thingy? Whoa. I feel like I’ve been in a time warp. I was just living my life, minding my own business, then suddenly, it was months later and I was still just living my life, minding my own business. Some things have changed, though. In the many months since my last blog post, I have had some major moments, and some not as exciting, but still awesome moments. For one, my hair has finally gotten past the awkward stages of growing out a pixie! I know this might seem like a stupid thing to even bring up, but if you’ve ever grown out a pixie, you know what hell I’ve been through the last ten months. To finally have a short bob is no small thing, I assure you.


Day one of the great grow-out.
Ten months later, an official bob!























As for the bigger things, in September I joined the cast of a local production of the musical Into the Woods as the triple role of Cinderella’s Mother, Little Red’s Granny, and the Giant. The show ran for the two weekends before Thanksgiving, and though it stole every solitary free minute I had for three months, it was such a great experience!  The show was incredible and time-consuming and difficult and lovely and one of the best things I have ever done. I almost cried on the last day, and I still miss the cast and crew like crazy. The best part about this show was my costume: though I played three parts, the only time I was on stage was as Granny, so I got to wear pajamas and bunny slippers and old age makeup. Another big bonus: My mom just happened to be in town during the show, so she got to see me perform, and I got to see her for the first time in over seven years!
























I have always loved makeup, but this old age look forced me into completely new territory, which was a welcome challenge. Do you know how much time it takes to look four decades older? A lot! It also takes a lot of makeup: I hit pan in my Kat Von D Shade and Light palette after eight performances. I am now an expert at making myself look like a granny, and I’m ready to delve into other kinds of stage makeup, so don’t be surprised if you see some real weird looks on the blog in the near future.

While I was in the middle of rehearsals for Into the Woods, I had another unexpected change. I got a new job! In October, I accepted a position as an optician at a local optometrist's office, and I have been loving it! For a long time, I couldn’t imagine doing anything but waitressing; it was just so good. The schedule was awesome, the pay was okay, the people were fantastic, and I just didn't believe I'd ever come across anything better. This job sort of fell in my lap in a way, and it was such a great opportunity that I couldn't pass it up. I've been shocked by my ability to seamlessly transition into a full-time schedule; I thought that would be impossible after a year and three months of being spoiled by three hour shifts. This job is completely different from anything else I've ever done, and the learning curve is steep, but I have been enjoying the challenge. Who knew full-time work could be so rewarding?

Another weird thing about working full-time is the fact that it enables me to get more done, despite losing so much free time. I have always worked this way for some reason. If I have an entire day to myself, I will waste it on Facebook and Netflix. If I only get a few hours, I will write a novel, clean my house, meditate, grocery shop, and bake, all before my deadline. This means I will be taking photos and writing stuff and posting it where everyone can see it. I don't have time for any of this, which means, somehow, it will get done. Don't question my illogical ways, just go with it. :)

For the curious: I didn't get to keep my Granny costume from the show, but I did buy the bunny slippers myself so I could bring them home. The bunnies hated them at first, but now they have accepted them into the herd. It's pretty cute.
 


Sunday, August 23, 2015

Dancing Girls are Dancing!

I have finally broken out of my clothing rut! I bought something! After much deliberation, I decided that I can buy clothes and feel good about it, as long as said clothes are second hand. This isn't a huge departure from my old norm for buying clothes; I love second hand stores and consignment shops! The difference is that I've decided to buy exclusively from such places, and I feel so, so much better about buying clothes now. So hey, check it out: I bought a shirt!





Talk about a lucky find! This adorable blouse is designed by Rebecca Antonoff and it is 100% silk. I can't even handle the pattern; how could I pass up these adorable dancing girls? This top feels like butter and looks like vintage, but it's fairly new. It's heaven in clothing form. I love it! Just look at these details:

Those buttons!

That sleeve! Those girls and their dancing!
These shoes and their shoe-ness!
I've always loved shopping online (is there anything better than receiving packages?) but I did not buy this from an online shop, per se. I found this beauty on Instagram! I didn't even know you could buy things on Instagram, but apparently, it's totally legit. It's not quite like Etsy or Ebay, where you can see reviews from other customers and get an idea of a seller's reliability, but hey, this one worked out great! I paid (a ridiculously small amount of money) with PayPal and had my shirt just a few days later. I have since started following about a million vintage and thrift types of pages, and I have so much fun just looking at all the cool things people find out there. I might go totally broke now, and I am okay with that.


For the curious: My blouse came from Vintage Afterlife on Instagram, @vintageafterlife. Do give her a follow; she has some amazing treasures available, and she is an absolute dream to work with. She is fast and polite and I bet she's just as cute as a bug in a rug, and she has some great prices to boot. My skirt is the same lovely second hand Banana Republic skirt from previous posts; I seem to be reaching for it more and more! I bought my shoes from a tiny online shop a few years ago, and I cannot for the life of me remember the name of it. I will edit this post to include the shop and a link as soon as I figure it out. My necklace was made special for me by a new friend, and it is so out-of-this-world amazing that I will be posting a totally separate blog post about it in the next couple of days. :D

Monday, August 3, 2015

The "Look, it's Makeup" Look!

As you probably already know, human beings can care about only one thing at a time. Some people care about social justice, others care about animal welfare, and still others care about politics. I am inherently selfish and apathetic, so what is the one thing I have chosen to care about these days? Makeup! That's right: I already have my one thing I care about, so don't try to get me to even glance in the direction of anything else. Don't tell me about what's happening in the rest of the world because I quite enjoy being distracted by the contents of my makeup bag, thankyouverymuch.

In all seriousness, I really have been paying more attention to my face and the stuff I put on it (and I promise I pay attention to other things, too). I have written blog posts about makeup before (find them herehere, and here), and though I have always liked makeup, it has never really been my thing. You know what will change that, and fast? Impossible hair, a tiny wardrobe, and a serious lack of funds. I tried to do some clothing shopping, but I gave up because I felt so utterly uninspired and unwilling to spend any money on anything. And I know my hair is probably not all that bad, but I am actively hating it right now. It's in that weird in-between stage where it's too long to be a pixie and too short to be a bob. Maybe I should call it a pob. The pob is taking a toll on my self-esteem, so I have had to go to extremes to feel pretty. 

Did it work? Am I pretty yet?
Okay, so that is not an accurate representation of my normal made-up face. I go about my daily life looking more like this:




Not bad, but not too incredible, either. I decided to try something new, so I took to YouTube and happily fell down a rabbit hole of makeup tutorials. Holy crap, there is some awesome stuff out there! Makeup is an art; that's why people who do makeup for a living are called makeup artists. Makeup is also a skill, and though I know a thing or two about a thing or two, I feel inclined to hurtle myself out of the old comfort zone. I started slow with some shimmery purples:



When I was applying this makeup, I felt like I was really laying it on thick and going super dramatic, but as the photos show, it's not extreme at all. I wanted some drama, so I kicked it up a few thousand notches and came up with this:




POW! I defy you to ignore my eye makeup!  This was a first for me, and it is admittedly not a great makeup job, but it's not bad. I just wanted to do something fun and completely out of the norm for me, and this yellow/pink/red/orange combo is just that. I usually get compliments on my lack of makeup, which is always funny to me because for one, it's odd to get a compliment for not doing something, and for two, my "lack of makeup" look involves as much makeup as my "look, it's makeup" look.  

I'm obviously wearing (poorly applied) false lashes and my winged liner could be thicker and straighter and winged-er and my blending leaves something to be desired, but you know what? I don't care! This was fun! I spent about twenty minutes on this look (I usually take five minutes, tops) and when I was done, I sat on my couch and watched scary movies by myself before taking the makeup off and going to bed. I did it for myself, to try it out, to play with color, and I loved it. I will be doing this again, and I will get better at it. I will leave my house like this one day, and I'm sure I will be told by some well-meaning person that I'm wearing too much makeup, and that will be an excellent night. What do you think? Is this way too much? Would you ever venture into this territory? Should I just get a Halloween mask and save some time? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

For the curious: I used a lot of different kinds of makeup for each of the photos in this post. For my every day look, I use my Too Faced Natural Eyes palette. The purples are Younique pigments that my mom sent me ages ago, and the last makeup look is all Wet n Wild, which is shockingly good stuff for the price. My lipsticks are all Wet n Wild. I didn't follow any specific tutorials for any of the looks in the post, even though I've spent so much time watching them. I decided to wing it this time because I'm impatient and didn't want to listen to directions. My favorite makeup channels on YouTube are Vintage or TackyNikkie Tutorials, and Kandee Johnson. These ladies are incredible at what they do and I highly recommend giving them a look!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Digging deep!

It's difficult to put outfits together when you have not much to work with, but somehow, I soldier on. I'm determined to stop wearing the same outfit over and over like I have been, but I'm also determined to avoid clothes shopping for another month or two. I have had to dig deep and push myself. Is it so bad? 


Lucky for me, I have this white skirt that I totally forgot about. I have always said that my spirit animal is the cheerleader, and that is exactly why I bought this skirt oh so long ago. Pleats are my favorite! I just wish I had some pom-poms!


Modeling skills!


Normally, I would hate having part of my graphic tee hidden like this, but I like this a whole lot better than dealing with the white shirt right on top of the white skirt and seeing that the two shades of white differ ever so slightly. That's the real reason I layered: to put some distance between the two shades of white. I think the shirt is still interesting enough without showing the entire design, but it does kill me just a little to hide it. So, just for the heck of it, here's the whole thing:


Ugh, I love this tee! I wear it all the time; I have even featured it on my blog before. I'm pretty much convinced that it goes with everything, just like my amazing vintage gold belt. I think that belt might just be one of my favorite things I own, and I feel great every time I wear it. And of course, these shoes are definite keepers:


I know I complain about my tiny wardrobe a lot, but even though I don't have a lot of options, the options I do have are all clothes and accessories I really love. It may be more difficult to find new combinations this way, but when I do find something that works, it really works. I feel more confident in this outfit than I do in my requisite jeans and tee combo, while being equally as comfortable as I am in jeans. I'm excited to see what else I can come up with!

For the curious: My skirt is Banana Republic, bought from a consignment shop months and months ago. My Stormtrooper tee is from Forever 21 and was a unicorn of sorts; I regret that I didn't buy two. I will cry and cry the day I can no longer wear it. My chambray shirt is from Old Navy, bought online back before I decided to stop shopping there. My shoes are from Modcloth, and they are the tiniest bit too big, so I shove a cotton ball in the toes to keep them on my feet. That may seem weird, but it works so well.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

I'm sorry, but I won't apologize...

Oh, hi! It seems like I start all my posts with apologies these days, so I won't be saying sorry in this one. Besides, the entire internet has been telling me that, as a woman, I apologize too much. Sorry I'm sorry so much, you guys! Wait, I mean I'm not sorry I'm sorry. Wow, that's one of those words that loses all meaning after you say/type it enough times. 

Anyway, as you might already know, I have been floating in the blogger's abyss of late, dealing with a much larger version of "I don't know what to do with my hands." I've been feeling lost and uninspired, agonizing over what to do with my life. I thought about law school, but abandoned that idea after ten minutes. I am happy to say that I've gotten some traction in this quest to find myself a career, and I think I have it figured out! I will share more details on that later, as I'd like to wait until I have some things taken care of before I make any HUGE DECLARATIONS. Just know that I'm super excited about some of the decisions I've been making, and even though I've had my doubts, I will be just fine. 

I feel like I'm getting reacquainted with myself. Fashion is starting to matter to me again. I want to dress up again! I got rid of a large chunk of my wardrobe, and now I don't have much to work with. Maybe I went a tad overboard, but I haven't missed anything I've gotten rid of. What I miss is the illusion of a full wardrobe. I will be going shopping soon, but in the meantime, I'm trying to work with what I have, and what I do have are some awesome pieces that don't get nearly enough attention, like this ensemble here:


My favorite photo spot! 

Modeling is like riding a bike. 


I love, love, love this shirt, which makes me wonder why I don't wear it more often. I'll go ahead and blame it on laziness: This shirt does require some ironing, and who has time for buttons? It's such a great top, though, especially for the hot summer days because it's made of the lightest, most breathable cotton. I love the color and the print and the little details, like the just-poufy-enough sleeves and the tie waist. It is a little cropped, and I don't like having my belly exposed, so I wear a camisole underneath.



My white jeans might look familiar, but these are new. I ditched my old white jeans because they were too low-waisted, and I got tired of showing the whole world my butt crack every time I bent over. I'm also starting to move away from skinny jeans; these are a straight leg, and a little long on me. I might hem them. I haven't decided yet. 

While we're at it, check out my progress growing out my pixie! It has been awkward and frustrating, but it's finally getting to a manageable point. Here's a side-by-side look at where it was in March when I decided to grow it out, and today: 

Not awkward.
All awkward, all the time.


Not bad for four months of doing nothing! Just look at me in that before photo. I'm so hopeful and optimistic, totally unaware of what I'm about to go through. Heh. I figure I'll be able to shape this into an adorable little bob by the end of summer, and this dreadful hair experience will be over. Here's hoping, anyway. :)


For the curious: My top is Tocca and my white jeans are Uniqlo, both bought from an online consignment shop. The shoes are my trusty blurple Lucky brand ballet flats, which I wear constantly. I cannot for the life of me remember where I bought my earrings; I just know that I bought them years and years ago, and have worn them maybe twice. I always wear studs, so having earrings that brush against my neck every time I move my head has been interesting. It has also made me aware of how much I move my head, which is a lot.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Where did June go?

Okay, I have to confess: I have not sewn a thing all month. I'm stuck between a lack of money and time, along with a lack of ideas. A few months ago, I bought some amazing fabric. Take a look at this stuff:


I bought this stretchy cotton twill from Mood fabrics online, and every time I look at it, I swoon. The problem is, I don't have much of it; this was a bit of an impulse purchase, and since I wasn't buying it for a specific project, I bought just a single yard, thinking that would be enough for something fun. Turns out, a single yard isn't enough for anything really fun, like a dress or a top, which I think would be perfect for this fabric. I could make a skirt, but I think this fabric is too stiff for another elastic waist skirt like I made last month, so it would have to be something with a bit more structure, which is a tad beyond my skill level at the moment. I've been perusing patterns trying to find something I'd like to make, but it seems like anything I like requires more than the one yard I bought. So, though I have sworn that I would not stockpile fabric in the interest of keeping my home uncluttered, this awesome stuff is going to be set aside until I can figure out what to do with it. I might just buy more of it, if it's still available...but that's almost too easy, isn't it? Any suggestions would be appreciated. Seriously, make some suggestions. In the meantime, I will just have to get my hands on some more fabric (note to self: buy more than a single yard) and find something to do.

The idea of finding something to do makes me laugh a little right now. June has been crazy! On top of the normal stuff like work and kid care, I've had a ton going on this month. My boyfriend and I decided to end our long distance relationship and resume a no distance relationship. He has moved back to Montana, and his twin daughters are here with us for the summer. I've been spending a lot of time playing Uno and coloring. Coloring is great for stress relief, in case you didn't know. Dinner theater has kept me busy as usual, but we are nearly done with this run, so before I know it, I will be left with that empty, "What now?" feeling I always get after wrapping up a show. My birthday came and went, and when I did my annual life inventory check, I realized that, more than anything, I'm just really tired, and I need to make some changes in my life so that I can be less tired. Maybe if I didn't feel so tired all the time, I could live my life AND write a blog. I like to dream big, you guys.

In all seriousness, and all tiredness aside, I will be getting back on the blog train more regularly very soon. I miss this stuff. I need to figure out what exactly I'm doing here. I'm still grappling with my feelings about clothes and fashion. Since I ditched most of my wardrobe a few months ago, I've been feeling apathetic about what I wear. These days, my outfit choices come down to what is clean and within arm's reach. This is a convenient way to dress oneself, but it isn't the most inspiring way to do it. I miss giving a crap about my clothes. Ideally, I'd have a dresser full of handmade clothes that fit my body and my personality perfectly. Realistically, it will be a long time before I have the skill to have an entire me-made wardrobe. What to do in the meantime? I think I need to do some shopping. Careful, mindful, in-person (not online) shopping. It has been so long since I bought clothes, I'm not sure I know how to do it anymore. Since I've been in this fashion grey area, I'm not even sure about my personal style anymore. I think it might be time to delve into that, and figure out what I want my clothes to say about me. In the meantime, a little awkwardness never hurt anyone, right? Right. :)



Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Wigs and Birds and Rock Icons!

So, I have been awful about posting lately, but don't worry, I have a lame excuse! Once again, I'll be crying, "I've been busy!" and hoping it will be good enough for my readers. I've been working a lot more than usual at the day job, with longer shifts, more customers, and more side work. I'm not complaining, just saying that I have been a little more worn out after work than usual. I am also currently working as an actress for a dinner theater production later in June, so I've been spending a lot of my free time learning my lines and attending rehearsals and wearing a wig.


See, my character is a bit of a sexpot, and an awkward, half-grown out pixie cut does not fit the description, so I will totally wig it. Dinner theater (and wearing a wig) is a huge time commitment, but it is pretty awesome to call yourself a paid actress when living in a small city in Montana, so again, I'm not complaining. But let me say this: I am tired, you guys. Even so, with all the things going on in my life, I am still sewing! I'm not sewing nearly as much as I would like to be, but that's a combination of lack of time and lack of money. I have come to love the remnants bin at Jo-Ann, where I can find enough inexpensive fabric to make practical things, like covers for my awful throw pillows.


You're looking at about $12 total in that photo, and I'm proud of that fact, but the work itself is not that great. These envelope pillowcases are a simple project, but I somehow managed to mess it up. It came down to a problem with impatience while measuring: I cut things too short and left other things too long, and so the cases are baggy and weird and ill-fitting. I will fix them at some point, but right now, they are good enough as long as I keep the envelope openings turned to the back. 

I was going to keep sewing things like pillows and aprons and curtains, but I decided to forge ahead into clothing, since that's the skill I'm most interested in honing. Check it out; I made a skirt!




This Debbie Harry/Joan Jett tee was the last article of clothing I bought before the massive clothing purge. It's pretty much the greatest thing I have ever purchased. I think it go nicely with the birds.



I love, love, love this fabric! The color, the print, the drape...what's not to love? I bought only half a yard of this, which I am regretting now, especially because it's probably going to sell out before I can afford to buy more. Still, half a yard was enough for this simple elastic waist skirt, which I happen to be very proud of. This skirt took about an hour, but only because I was trying not to mess up. It's not like a pillow or an apron, where you can get away with shoddy work. I'm going to wear this thing; people will see it.


Check out that French Seam action! So crisp! So...French? I love it! It's almost a shame that it's on the inside of the skirt, where no one will ever see it.



























I thought I'd have to wear the belt to disguise the elastic waist, but honestly, it doesn't look bad at all, just more relaxed. It's all good, because Debbie and Joan are pretty relaxed, too. This skirt is pretty comfy, and this fabric is so lightweight that it almost feels like I'm not wearing anything...so I might go back and add a liner, just to make it feel a little more substantial. Or, I might not. I might just move on because this skirt is pretty good as is. I'm actually wearing it today, as I type this! It's pretty exciting to make something I really want to wear. It makes me want to make more things! And make more things, I shall...as soon as I get some more free time.

For the curious: The awesome bird-print fabric is cotton poplin, purchased online from Mood Fabrics. I love Mood Fabrics; they always seem to be in such a great mood! When I ordered from Fabricworm, I didn't get a shipping confirmation until the day I received my order, nearly two weeks after I placed the order. With Mood Fabrics, they were all about the communication. They were like, "Hey, thanks for your order, we'll ship that soon!" "Guess what? We totally just shipped that awesome fabric for you!" "Your stuff is on its way, lady!" "Oh, hey, we just dropped that off in your mailbox, and also, we think you're cute!" It is always a pleasant experience, and the shipping is a little pricey ($9.95) but everything gets to you fast, so it's worth it. Plus, they have some incredible stuff, stuff I can't find at Jo-Ann. No offense to Jo-Ann, of course. My tee is from Nooworks.com, who also emailed me to ask if they could send it in white instead of gray, and that was awesome because I could tell the email was written by a real-life human being. It always excites me when an actual person writes the emails.