Friday, October 29, 2010

Snow princess

Ahh yes, snow. That old familiar favorite. No thank you, I'll pass. Really. It's okay. You don't happen to have any 70°F weather back there, do you? No? Aw, shucks.

I've lived in the same frigid part of the world my whole life. I knew it was coming. I just didn't know it would be here so soon! It's already started to melt and will probably be totally gone in a few days, but that doesn't change the fact that yes, winter is just around the corner. Again.

I bought a new pair of snow boots just for the occasion. I, for one, think they're pretty sweeeeeet. How 'bout you?

Jacket: Eddie Bauer
Pink Dress: Modcloth
Belt: Urban Outfitters
Boots: St. John's Bay

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Motley Crue is one of my favorite bands, and I'm not afraid to admit it. I have a giant crush on Nikki Sixx. Wearing a picture of your crush on your boobs can lead to high levels of excitement, which may cause you to do things like make weird faces and pose in really obnoxious ways (you think the first one is bad? You should have seen the ones I didn't post). Don't you wish you were me? Oh yeah. And Nikki, if you're reading this (I'm SURE you are!), just know that Miss Blogger Ashley here loves and adores you. I've read all of your books! Since you've split with Kat Von D, I think it's totally okay if we "get together," if you know what I mean. Maybe you could even get my face tattooed on your thigh, like you did for Mick Mars. I hear you like photography. So do I! I'd be willing to model for you. In the nude.

The weather here has been horrible lately (which you'd know if you've been following me on Twitter! Just sayin') and it's knocked my internet (and TV) out. I'm currently at Barnes & Noble jacking their wi-fi to check my school email (...and blog. And perhaps order some snow boots). I'm going to try to respond to some of my comments now, but the rest are going to have to wait until the internet returns to my haus.

T-shirt and skirt: Urban Outfitters
Cardigan: Target
Shoes: Dolce Vita (I'm going to talk more about these soon)
Bag: Steven by Steve Madden

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Tree hugger

Thanks to everyone who commented with their words of wisdom last post concerning my 1.5 year gap dilemma. Y'all are so smart! I'm not going to spend the entire 1.5 years pulling my tallywhacker, but I've realized that no one (except me, figuratively speaking) is standing here with a gun to my head forcing me to have a set plan of action starting the day after I graduate. I had been thinking of travelling before so many of you mentioned it, but I have a whole year and a half to do it. I'm not going to spend the whole year and a half travelling (hullo negative bank account), so I'm just going to be casual for once and--OMG--try my best to be spontaneous. Right now, I'm just going to focus on right now, as opposed to thinking way, way ahead. If I don't get my shit in gear until next time this year, then I guess so be it. At least I'll have stopped to smell the roses.

I've had the shirt in these pictures since I've been about 13. I found it recently in a giveaway box and revived it, even thought it's too big for me now. I think a waffle weave thermal shirt is definitely either hit or miss. I love the pattern on this and am hoping the vest adds a little something to it so it doesn't look quite as pajama-y.

Oh, and I joined Twitter, so if you have it too (I don't resent you if you don't--I've been avoiding and hating on it ever since it first came out), be sure to add me!

Thermal top: Guess
Vest: Madewell
Pants: J. Crew
Shoes: Jeffrey Campbell
Rings: ? (but I bought them on last year)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Turned on by the French

I realize the backgrounds in a lot of my pictures have been overexposed lately. I'm doing it on purpose even though I'm not quite sure why. It's got something to do with aesthetics. Sometimes things just look better, even if they aren't technically right.

It's October 22 today. I graduate college in approximately 56 days. I have no job lined up. I have nothing lined up. I was planning on moving to Minneapolis/St. Paul in January, but I have a love/hate relationship with the city. There are times when I think I'd like the hustle and bustle of the city. There are other times when I think I'd absolutely hate it. Hopefully, I will be attending graduate school in Fall 2012, so I'll have to live in the city eventually. So should I stay out here, in the country, for another 1.5 years while I can? I mean, when will I have the next chance to live away from everything? Approximately 2018.

I have no idea what to do with this 1.5 year gap.

I don't know. I really don't know and it bothers me sometimes. I hate voids. I like to be busy. I like it when everything is planned out and I have stuff to do. At the moment, I have nothing to do for 1.5 years. I know some people would be like, "Whoa, duuuuuude, I have nothing to do for 1.5 years! SOLID!" but I'm not some people. I can't even watch TV because I feel like it's a waste of time. I rushed through college and am finishing early. Most people my age will be done in 2012. So really, this 1.5 is like a gift. It should be free time. Like when you were the first one done with your test in middle school, so you got to read a book while everyone else finished their tests and caught up to you. Except I'm not required to sit around and read a book anymore. I can keep on sprinting ahead if I want to. If only I knew how.

And there's always the thought.... what if I don't get into grad school? I'll have to save that one for another day.

SO GLAD you enjoyed the Love Your Body Day interviews! I thought they were great, too! Another round of applause for my fantastic interviewees, please!

Sweater: Forever 21
Dress: Jean Paul Gaultier for Target
Fedora: Urban Outfitters
Shoes: Jeffrey Campbell

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Happy Love Your Body Day!

October 20th is Love Your Body Day. To celebrate, I had the privilege of interviewing five fabulous fashion bloggers from different walks of life to share with us their stories, their thoughts, and their perspectives on the importance of a healthy body image. The fashion industry is infamous for endorsing "skinny," and, in much of the world, the message we get is that "thin" is synonymous with "beautiful." There is an amazingly heavy emphasis placed on appearance, and, as fashion bloggers, this is definitely true for us. Today is Love Your Body Day, so love and celebrate your body for all it can do. Always remember: you're beautiful!

Rio describes herself as a fairly typical California girl: she loves the beach, sunshine, and being outside. She calls herself a bit of a hippie, "like most people in my town." She's a self-proclaimed "science nerd" who likes to study rocks, but, at the same time, she's also a beach bum who doesn't like going to school. Rio likes to hike, swim, and ride her bike. She also likes to buy new clothes and "play dress up in them!" Overall, Rio says she's basically just a dork who spends way too much time with her crazy puppies! She is also the owner of Showers of Sunflowers!

How are you different from the majority of other fashion bloggers?
I am a short, curvy, hippie girl with tattoos and piercings who doesn't really follow fashion trends or know who has the hottest Spring line coming out. I like reading blogs that are written by modelesque beauties who have fabulous photo shoots, but I also like reading style blogs written by people who have different body-types and are all different shapes and sizes with different styles. I'd like to think that I offer a slightly funky vibe to the blogging world and show that good things can come in small packages...even when those small things have big booties!

Why did you start a blog and what does it mean to you?
I am not much of a fashionista, so it's ironic that I have a fashion blog! I've always had a funky style though, and I've always worn whatever I want, whether or not it is "in style." I started a blog as a creative outlet, after reading other people's for a while. I also have a serious love of buying clothes, so I hoped that the blog would help me stop spending money... epic fail! ;) It also is an amazing community full of the nicest, coolest people from around the world.

Has owning a blog affected you on a day to day basis?
Having a blog has made me more aware of what I wear on a daily basis. If I wear jeans and a t-shirt, I don't stress that I don't look super cute, but I do try to actually put some effort into my outfits now. I also try to experiment with my clothes more now, mixing prints and trying new cuts or colors. I also have found that I can smile in pictures now without feeling awkward!

How important is it to be confident with your body?
Body confidence is everything. We all have insecurities, and we all have moments (some more than others) of feeling down on ourselves, but it's about pushing through that and still liking yourself overall. I don't always like everything that I see in the mirror, but I try to remember that my body is good to me and has gotten me this far in life, so I'd better be darn thankful for it.

What advice would you give to others to help promote a healthy body image?
If you think about your body as a living, breathing being, it's easier to appreciate it than if you just focus on all of the little superficial things. Working out and eating right can also do wonders for your body confidence. When I go a while without exercising or eating healthy, I feel the effects right away, which immediately make me start to feel crummy about my body. When I get back on top of it, I start to feel better and am more likely to notice the good rather than the bad. Also, good fitting clothes are key!

Ralph is a lawyer, a motorcyclist, a film-lover, and a transgendered person. "I'm a lawyer because my immigrant-parents wanted me to achieve the highest level I could in American society. I'm a motorcyclist because I love the visceral sensations of dancing with forces of nature. I'm a film-lover because I respect and savor art. And, I'm a transgendered person because, although society classifies me as male, I'm actually female inside." Ralph also owns a blog: Shy Biker.

How are you different from the majority of other fashion bloggers?
I'm publicly male. Virtually all other fashion-bloggers are female, so this sets me apart in a superficial way. I don't believe, however, that I'm really different from other fashion-bloggers, which explains why I'm comfortable and happy among them.

Has this affected you on a day to day basis?
My struggle with gender has been with me every day of my life. Fortunately, I no longer view it negatively (i.e., ruing what I can't have) and, instead, view my difference positively (e.g., appreciating insights I have into the minds of both men and women; enjoying experiences commonly had by each gender separately).

Why did you start a blog and what does it mean to you?
I had a non-fashion blog for several years which evolved into a fashion-blog when I started posting outfit-pictures. I was seriously apprehensive about doing that because I was unsure how people would react. Fortunately, the reception was warm and supportive. Now, the blog is central to my life and provides a depth of joy I never expected to find in public life. I use the blog as a means to express my authentic self and the importance of that, to me at this moment, is critical.

How important is it to be confident with your body?
We should all be confident and happy with our bodies. Nature gave us what it did and we should appreciate that gift. Having arms and legs and hair is a fabulous opportunity we should cherish.

Equally as important, we should realize that our body is merely a shell housing our inner-self, which remains constant when our body changes through events like aging. Changes to our body need not affect our happiness because those changes don't affect our inner-self unless we let them.

What advice would you give to others to help promote a healthy body image?
To make a firm distinction between personal appearance and social appearance. The body we see in the shower is who we are. The body we exhibit to the public can be, and usually is, an altered version of that. There's nothing wrong with grooming and enhancing our bodies through the variety of tricks available to us: e.g., makeup; false eyelashes; Spanx. Social appearance is, essentially, a performance and, like actors, we get to wear costumes.

Where people get into trouble is when they confuse personal and social appearances. It's dangerous to internalize social norms of beauty and become insecure over perceived deficiencies. For example, a century ago, society considered women to be beautiful if they were much larger than today. Standards of beauty change over time and differ from one society to another. You can play with social standards but don't internalize them: they have no absolute validity and they don't negate the real beauty of your personal appearance. You are beautiful regardless of whether your personal appearance conforms to today's accepted version of social appearance.

Is there anything else you would like to add?
Focus on the good things in your life and de-emphasize the bad. Be grateful you're alive, have your limbs, and aren't suffering from serious illness or injury. Try not to succumb to the common practice of regretting small things missing from your life when so many wonderful things surround you. Be happy and smile!

Janelle of Bare Study is a 22 year old girl. She is from Vancouver, Canada, but was born in the Philippines (Manila). She is currently taking up accounting.

How does Canada's cultural perception of the "ideal body image" differ from the standard definition of beauty in the Philippines?
I don't actually think there's that much difference in the cultural perception of "ideal body image" between Canada and the Philippines. I just noticed a lot of bullying when you're "fat" in the Philippines compared to in Canada. I'm not too sure why, as I expected it to be the other way around. The Philippines loves the pretty face and fair skin. If you come across celebrities there, you'll notice that most of them are fair skinned.

Which places more of an emphasis on physical beauty: Canada or the Philippines?
Although I've heard of extreme bullying here in Canada, I haven't actually experienced it first hand, nor with my friends being bullied. So personally, I think that the Philippines places more emphasis on physical beauty. I think that the more light skinned you are, the "prettier" they would think you are.

Why did you start a blog and what does it mean to you?
I actually first gained interest in make-up. Then, I came across a few fashion bloggers, and I found myself checking back on them everyday. That's when I discovered my love for fashion. It's not like I never had it in me, but it took until then to realize that I have this passion or great interest in it. I've also wanted to blog for so long. I'd been creating different accounts because at that time, I didn't know what to blog about. Until everything fell into place, discovery for my love for fashion, make-up and travelling, and being inspired by so many other bloggers, I've decided to finally create an account and stick with it.. And now, I'm loving it. :)

How important is it to be confident with your body?
It is very important because confidence, not only in your body, but your whole self-confidence, is very hard to fake. When you're taking photos (or even with what you write), it will show if you are happy with what you have or not. And as I've observed, negativity does not draw people towards you.

What advice would you give to others to promote a healthy body image?
Water, fruits and vegetables and exercise are a must in being healthy. Being skinny is not everything. Make sure to take care of your body, and this does not only include your external physique but also your health. Being healthy and happy will exert radiance and a beautiful glow, which I think is gorgeous.

Is there anything else you would like to add?
These are based on my personal experiences and might not be the same for everyone else. But no matter what, I think it's the same for everyone that beauty comes from within. I hope that everyone will find that part in them to start believing in themselves and love their body. :) "Outside show is a poor substitute for inner worth." - Aesop.

Collette is many things: a freelance writer, accounting manager, volunteer, vegetarian, true friend, fashion blogger, and totally addicted shopper (not to mention a "mad crazy" jewelry lover). Above all else, she describes herself as a loving mother: her two children mean the world to her. Collette owns Statements in Fashion.

How are you different from the majority of other fashion bloggers?
I think I'm different from some other fashion bloggers because my style is always changing. I'm not really "set" into one look. One day you may see me wearing something really edgy, the next I'll be in a vintage dress. I'm always trying new fashion trends and thinking of unique and different ways to incorporate items into my outfits.

Why did you start a blog and what does it mean to you?
I started Statements in Fashion as a way to connect with other bloggers who are just as obsessed with fashion and styling as I am. I love connecting with people and forming new friendships. I have developed new business relationships with sponsors as a result of the blog as well. As a freelance writer, I have been given the opportunity to connect with various publications regarding upcoming writing opportunities. Statements in Fashion has become a huge part of my daily life. I work on it several hours a day, and make time to interact with each and every one of my followers. I refer to my blog as " my other child." If you put time and love into something you are passionate about, it will grow into something bigger than you ever imagined.

Has owning a blog affected you on a day to day basis?
I wasn't prepared for the blogging community to be as supportive as they have been. It truly is a group of people who are just as passionate about blogging and fashion as I am. I started my blog just two short months ago and have over 335 daily followers. The feedback from fellow bloggers has just been so fantastic. I'm meeting new people each and every day!

How important is it to be confident with your body?
I think it's very important to be confident with your body. As a person that used to be overweight, I really cant stress this enough. No matter where you are in terms of weight or superficial things about yourself that you wish you could change, accepting "you" for you has to come within first. If you feel good about yourself, you instantly boost your self esteem and portray that to others around you.

What advice would you give to others to help promote a healthy body image?
Ive always been a believer in the phrase, "don't stress about things that you can't control." There are many things that we are very much in control over with our own bodies. Any kind of actual change has to do with breaking old habits. If you need to lose a few pounds, join a gym or a weight loss program like Weight Watchers. Grab a friend to join with you. The buddy system really helped me when I was losing weight. It's great to be accountable to someone other than yourself. If you are in a weight transition, don't make the mistake of wearing big, bulky clothing. Many people think doing this makes you look thinner, when it actually does the complete opposite.

A daily diet change can instantly make you feel better about your body image. I became a vegetarian after losing a good deal of weight. I was never a big meat eater, so the change was really easy for me to make. Being a vegetarian to me, is a healthier lifestyle that just makes more sense with my daily eating habits and ethical beliefs.

Is there anything else you would like to add?
I think the most important thing I could add as far as body image goes would be to just be yourself. In a world where everyone is constantly comparing body types, quickly tiring of the newest trends and looking for the latest and greatest of everything, we need to accept ourselves for who and what we are. Have the strength from within to change the things that we can, and to just accept those that we can't. You don't have to be a size zero to be happy with the way you look. You don't have to be able to afford certain designers to feel good about your wardrobe. Each and every one of us has wonderful and unique qualities. Find yours and embrace each one.

Charlotte is a 20-year-old student and blogger from the United Kingdom. She is currently studying in the U.S. for a year. Fashion blogging for 10 months, Charlotte loves the range of shapes, sizes, and styles she finds in the blogging world. Charlotte is the owner of Girl Next Door Fashion.

How does America's cultural perception of the "ideal body image" differ from the standard definition of beauty in the UK?
I wouldn't say it's altogether too different. We have the same difficult line between a significant proportion of the population being overweight, and constant criticism of celebrities gaining weight. We have the same problems of constant berating women for the way they look, while also encouraging women to be confident with who they are. In my experience here in the US though, British women seem to embrace fashion much more as an outlet to express their body, instead of hiding in jeans and hoodies. We encourage women to wear belts to accentuate their curves and celebrate both the English pear shape, and the pale, milky skin of the English Rose. Yet so far I seem to find many American girls who are confident in their bodies and wear whatever they want because of this. It's reassuring.

Which places more of an emphasis on physical beauty: the U.S. or the U.K.?
I would probably say the US. There are dozen more advertisements in your magazines. Watch one TV show and you find at least one infomercial for protein powder or an miracle weight-loss scheme. This shocked me when I came to the US. The American media seem to encourage weight loss at the expense of health (I don't believe that meal-replacement drinks or protein shakes are beneficial to the body), and weight loss seems to be everything. Every person on every commercial is instantly a better person with a better life after weight loss, and this gives unrealistic expectations. Cosmetic surgery also seems to be much more common in the US, but I don't know if that is really the case.

Why did you start a blog and what does it mean to you?
Blogging is an interesting and cathartic experience. I have also been a girl with low self-esteem. A little unsure of myself, perhaps a little under-confident on the inside. Blogging encourages me to take good care of myself, to make an effort in what I wear and feel good about myself. I love knowing that people read my blog, that people care and are interested. I started a blog primarily to write. I want to be a journalist, and all I've ever wanted to do was write. I wanted to have something else to put on my CV. Something to make me stand out in a job interview. I don't think I ever expected to learn so much from it.

How important is it to be confident with your body?
Incredibly. You and your body are one. And it's easy to hate it. But it is an amazing thing. It does so much for you. I am hardly going to pretend I always love my body or that I ever have or will. It's a constant love-hate relationship. But I have come to appreciate it more as I've gotten older. Confident people are the ones who get far in life. Body confidence is key.

What advice would you give to others to promote a healthy body image?
Don't compare yourself to other people, be that celebrities or friends. Learn to love your body for what it is. Be active. Eat healthily. Let your body be the best it can possibly be. I always hated the gym, but now I love to go to help me feel good about myself. Do something that you love. And don't define yourself by the size of your thighs. And don't let anyone else define you by the way your body looks. Be who you are and be the best you can be.

Is there anything else you would like to add?
Body confidence is a constant battle. I was a chubby child and I never really escaped from that. I spent half my life being the fat kid, and it ruins your confidence for life. My mum has always had body issues and they were passed down to me. I spent a long time hating my body, and it's hard to get out of that mind set. Body confidence is difficult because everyone's body is different, and everyone's idea of how they “should” look is different. And there's a difference between being overweight and unhappy and needing to lose weight, and thinking you need to lose weight when you don't. I don't know where that line is. Be happy with who you are, and only change yourself if it will make you a happier person. But remember, if you lose weight the only thing that will change is the size of your jeans. Weight loss isn't a quick fix to happiness, but self-love is. Blogging has taught me that you don't have to be a size 0 to love fashion and to be stylish. Bloggers come in all shapes and sizes. Be inspired by real women, not the ones you see in magazines.

What's your story? Share your thoughts on lovin' up your body in the comments!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Seven confessions

Miss Thang over at The Dolls Factory informally tagged me to do a little post about seven (deadly!) confessions I have. I thought it would be a good way for you all to get to know me a little bit better, since I've never really formally introduced myself (although I'm sure you all love reading my day to day blurbs about my life!).

  1. I had otoplasty when I was 16. My ears still aren't symmetrical, and I'm fearful that someday, one of them will "come back," even though I've been assured that probably won't happen.

  2. I don't really get off on Fashion Week like most fashion bloggers do. I enjoy glancing at some of the collections, but I don't analyze them or pee my pants in anticipation for the next show. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I'm a realist. Most runway designs aren't all that translatable to the real world, and that makes a lot of them irrelevant to my lifestyle.

  3. I'm a total country girl at heart. The city makes me a little claustrophobic. My dream house is in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by a bit of woods, perhaps on a lake, and not too close to neighbors (but at least within walking distance). I'd love me a (well decorated) log cabin.

  4. I'm a horrible speller. Thank you, spell check! Thank you very much.

  5. I don't understand the appeal of some typical "fashion icons." I think most bloggers have more style than Alexa Chung does (oh, and her collection for Madewell? Very disappointing, if you want my opinion. Which of course you do!). Anna Wintour seems to have been put on this untouchable, holy pedestal, which, to me, makes her boring. And don't even get me started on this fetish everyone seems to have with Holly Golightly...

  6. I have a 3.8 GPA.

  7. If it wasn't for clothes (or shoes. Or accessories. Or more clothes) or stuff for my camera, I would spend literally no money at all. I'm really not a big fan of capitalism or consumerism. I'd probably be out living off the land right now if it weren't for my obsession with apparel.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Nothing but a fool's game

My outfit is inspired by the latest J. Crew catalogue. I really like it, except the chambray shirt underneath creates some weird lumps and bumps.

Dayum, this week is busy! I haven't been able to sleep in at all, which isn't a huge deal, but I get tired quickly on days I have to wake up at the ass crack of dawn. I like to wake up at 8 a.m., not be somewhere at 8 a.m. Friday is really going to take the cake, though: my alarm will be going off at 4 a.m., upon which I will be getting ready, taking a 3 hour car trip, and be ready and rarin' to go for an all day event at 8 a.m. And then I have to drive back home the same day. But whatever, I'm a big girl. It's nothing I can't handle (but I can complain about it in the process).

Shout outs: Muchas gracias to the people over at the Jeffrey Campbell Shoe Blog for featuring some of my shoe pictures from the last post! And thanks to Tracy at The Closet Shopper for quoting me in a recent blog entry. You know you've hit the big time when people start quoting you. Xs and Os.

Chambray shirt: Old Navy
Sweater-thing: Urban Outfitters
Shoes: Blowfish

Monday, October 11, 2010

Mama got a new pair of shoes

Broome ST wedges (Jeffrey Campbell)

Seafoam pumps (Urban Outfitters)

Patterned heels (Marc by Marc Jacobs)

Mariel Fur wedges (Jeffrey Campbell)

Boat shoes (Jeffrey Campbell)

Hanuku boots (Blowfish)

I get a decent number of people commenting things like, "Wow, I love those shoes! I wish I could see them up close!" so guys, this is for you. These are some (most) of my newest pairs of shoes, up close and personal. What pair is your favorite?

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Twice is Nice

Yeah, so, I'm well aware I just wore AND posted about this faux fur beauty. It's nice though, isn't it? Yes. Yes it is. And, as I'm sure you can tell, I'm loving on long dresses and skirts this season. I think a lot of people think they can't wear a long hem because they aren't tall enough...but I'm a few inches away from midget status, and I think the length actually makes me look taller.

I haven't bought anything (except camera gear and gasoline) in a couple of weeks. It's really weird, me being a shopaholic and all. Unfortunately, I had my head up my ass and missed out on the MAC Disney Villain collection, and now all the good stuff seems to be sold out. Oh well. I don't really need any more nail polish...

Dress: Free People
Faux fur vest: Old Navy
Wedges: Jeffrey Campbell