Friday, September 25, 2009

Fat Love Friday #6

I have two beautiful ladies for you today! Both of them are coincidentally not from the U.S., too. Exciting, no? As I'm sure you may have noticed lately, often times I am torn between vintage and modern outfits. These gals are perfect examples of what I am for when I try more modern looks :)! I hope you enjoy their outfits as much as I do.

First we have French beauty, Sakina of Saks in the City (clever, too, right?! :P). Her style is very ladylike, sophisticated, and tailored. Her outfits are always perfectly accessorized. Even her more casual outfits seem elegant the way she adds jewelry and layers. Not only that, but she's another one with a knack for fit! Because she's so good at choosing clothes that fit perfectly, she always looks like a million bucks!

I also really admire the way she interprets trends. For instance, I am IN LOVE with the way she wears blazers! Trying out trendy looks can sometimes be difficult, unsuccessful, and ultimately a waste of money if you aren't careful. But I truly feel that her looks are timeless!

Unfortunately she and I don't share this trait, but I also think she photographs extremely well and wish I could pose as nicely and naturally as she does :P!

And now we have Val! The gorgeous Belgian blogger of Blog To Be Alive. Her style is feminine, yet edgy, and all around glamorous. I love that she takes risks with loud prints, maxi dresses, sequins, etc. Because she pulls them all off effortlessly. The maxi dress she's wearing in the photo really just stuck with me. She looks like a goddess, doesn't she!?

I also love that she wears heels so often. I am honestly stunned - I don't know how she does it! I think the heels add just the right amount of sexy to her outfits. Ah, if only I knew how to walk in them...Another thing I love about her outfits is that she isn't afraid of color, and often wears some of the lovliest color combos I've seen!

And seriously, how amazing is her hair? I'm so tempted to grow mine out now haha. Anyway, if you get a chance, do visit their blogs! All of the entries are translated into English, so there should be no problems there, and there are PLENTY more photos to put into your inspiration folder :P!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Shoe vote!

My best friend is kind of obsessed with shoes (and yes, that is a link to her new blog - do visit!). She has millions. Gets really excited about them and whatnot (what? You do :P!). I, not so much. I have a tendency to never splurge on them. In fact, I can be rather cheap! And I can't help but be practical! I'm a flats/sneaker/boots kind of gal I guess. Heels? No thanks. In fact, I kind of look on them more as art - something to be admired, but actually worn...? Here are some of my recent favorites from my closet:

(Left to right) Top row: Thrifted, Minnetonkas via Zappos, Target, thrifted.

Bottom row: Some mall store, thrifted, H&M, BC Footwear via Zappos, thrifted.

So I gave the whole "buy shoes that cost more than $20" thing a whirl (the black t-straps and Minnetonka mocs, most recently)...and I am officially in a shoe phase (in case you missed what I was hinting at: it's all Bettie's fault!). Over the last few paychecks I have actually bought myself a few decent pairs of shoes. And now I need more. Haha. Which is where you come in, friends! Which ones should join my little shoe family next?

1. BC Footwear Stormy Weather Leather Jazz Ankle Boot, $69.95

2. Kimchi & Blue Heeled Oxford, $58.00

3. Deena & Ozzy for UO Essential Heel, $48.00

4. BC Footwear Carpool Fringe Flat, $39.95.

Thrift Shop Review - Another Day, Another Salvos!

Sorry for doing two of these in a row! I've just been so excited about finding new thrift stores I couldn't help myself! Don't be surprised if another one pops up this week, too, since I'm going thrifting again tomorrow in Akron while I visit my bestest friend in the whole wide world :D Happy day!

Salvation Army in Parma, OH on Pearl Rd.

Service: Unfortunately I didn't have much interaction with the employees. However, while maneuvering around the busy store, I said "excuse me" and smiled nervously at customers and employees, and I was a little put off when no one smiled back or actually said anything at all o_O. But, half-off days are pretty chaotic so we'll just chalk it up to that?

Selection: TONS of stuff here! They always have a ton of computers and TVs too, if you're looking for that kind of thing. They had a nice long dress aisle, too! I found a bunch of stuff this time!

Price: Pretty average as far as Salvos seem to go. They seem to mark up leather/shoes/name brands pretty high though.

Organization: There were a LOT of people working at this one. I counted at least 7 different employees buzzing around, so that probably helps with the neatness of the place. The bookcases especially were very well kept!

Overall: 8/10. I think I prefer SAs over Goodwills, but I've gotta find some more unique places!

I was on the hunt for a good broken in '80s sweatshirt after I saw Caroline's on Wardrobe Remix, and I think I'm digging this one! I like the way it fits, and I'm always into weird artsy/tribal prints :P! This is actually a typical casual outfit for me.

On the funny xD!

Granny boots and oxfords for the shop...

Oh, how I wish this fit! I also got a beaded cashmere cropped sweater for Etsy (which sadly just wouldn't photograph properly). These things should be popping up in the store hopefully before the end of the week! Although, now that I think of it, feel free to inquire about it here you fancy anything that much :).

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Thrift Shop Reviews

I came across a blog a few days ago where a gal was taking a road trip, visiting several thrift shops along the way and rating them. What a brilliant idea!! So I thought I would rate my local(ish) shops in case anyone is ever in the area :) Thank you for the link, Leilani and Jade! (Speaking of thrift, WOW, check out their blog!)

Salvation Army on Heisley Road in Mentor, OH.

Service: The employees are kind of grumpy, but they don't give you too much trouble. One of the gals is particularly nice and we have a little chat whenever I see her. The manager is kind of scary. While perusing the racks, I constantly hear her bossing people around.

Selection: I seem to find at least one thing whenever I go here! They also don't usually have any of those chain store cast offs either, which is amazing. I have even found a gem or two amongst the polyester madness they call the vintage section. In general, they have a LOT of stuff and bring in new things often.

Price: Sometimes they can be expensive. I saw a dress there yesterday for $12.99, BUT I s'pose it was new with tags. I don't seem to find a ton of things at once, so I actually don't mind very much. It also makes me more selective, which usually turns out to be a good thing. However, most everything is half off in Wednesdays. But if you go that day, expect long lines and crowds.

Organization: decent. The clothes are arranged by color, which seems to work out okay. It seems to be easier to keep than size order, but I actually would prefer it that way. For the smaller lady this might not be such a problem though. Usually the store is kept clean, I almost always see someone mopping or sweeping. And the bathroom is decent, too!

Overall: 8/10. One of the best I've found! Only 10 minutes away, too :)

Here's what I found this time! I love these leather messenger/briefcase bags. I actually have another one in caramel that I found quite some time ago. I've been saving them for the laptop I'm hoping to go halves on with my parents for my birthday in October :)!

Friday, September 18, 2009

What I've Been Wearing...

Grey ribbed sweater: Kohl's
Toucan sun dress: Thrifted
Teal flats: H&M
Cream bag: Coach, thrifted

(Close ups of the shoes and bag can be found in previous posts.)

Black top: JC Penney
Jewel tone floral skirt: Thrifted
Teal cloth belt: Thrifted
Leopard print flats: Target

Thursday, September 17, 2009

(More >_<) Bento

I hope these aren't getting too boring x_x! It's a good way to look at your diet though, so I think I'll stay in the habit...Feel free to show me yours :D!

Top tier: Pepperoni bread, yum!

Bottom Tier: My favorite trail mix, orange milano cookies, green tea candy.

Extras: Mango apple sauce.

Top tier: Pita bread, spelt pretzels, orange milano cookies, green tea candy.

Bottom tier: Shrimp and cocktail sauce :9!

Extras: Babybel cheese, chicken salad to make a sandwich.

Top tier: Pita bread with lettuce, Babybel cheese.

Bottom tier: Orange milano cookies, green tea candy, lowfat strawberry yogurt.

Extras: Roasted red pepper hummus in the little white container, and a pink crisp apple.

Marlee Matlin

Sooo, someone asked in one of my last posts what I go to school for. Over the last year or so, I have become so excited about pursuing this area of study, and I thought I'd share a little bit of it with you! I've actually mentioned it briefly in some of my earliest posts, but if you didn't catch it...

Yes, hopefully one day I will be an interpreter for the Deaf. But for now, I am truly enjoying taking my first few steps into ASL and Deaf culture. The thing that got me into ASL to begin with was a movie called "Children of a Lesser God," (1986). It's a romance about a Deaf woman and a hearing man, and it really just is SUCH a beautiful film. I tried to find a clip on Youtube, but had a hard time finding a decent one, so just trust me - watch it :D!

So I found out the lead actress in the movie (Marlee Matlin) recently came out with an autobiography. And of course I bought it! It was a very interesting read, especially being able to sort of get to know Marlee. She actually seems very similar to a lot of the characters she plays: a smart, funny, passionate, angry, and strong lady.

I won't give away all the action in her book, but here are some basics: She became Deaf at 18 months, and still isn't sure about the cause of her Deafness. She learned ASL at age 5. She grew up in Chicago, IL with 2 brothers. She is a recovered drug addict. She has had several romances with famous men in Hollywood. She is still the youngest woman to have won an Academy Award (at age 21). But currently she has settled down quite a bit, married to a police officer with 4 children.

I know this isn't really fashion related (in fact, she has landed herself on some worst dressed lists, yikes!), but hopefully at least one person shares my fascination on the subject :D! I sifted through Youtube and found some videos I thought you guys might, without further ado, I give you Marlee Matlin :)!

P.S. I've been trying to photograph my outfits lately, so stay tuned for those this weekend! I'm also taking measurements on some clothes for the shop right now, so look for those soon, too :)!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Bento and Bento Tips

Here are my bento from last week! I've also come up with a few tips if you're trying to get started packing lunches :). I'm trying to stay away from microwavable foods because the microwave at school is a bit moody, so I'd love some no-heat food suggestions if you can think of any!

This had to last me the day since I had to work right after school, so it's a bit more food than usual.

Top tier: Pita bread, homegrown cherry tomatoes, carrots, Babybel cheese.

Bottom tier: Ham roll ups (ham, cream cheese, and green onion).

Extras: Candy, chocolate/Pocky, gum (to combat the onions! haha), small plum. The white container has roaster red pepper hummus.

I thought I was being clever and made this one all dipping foods haha xD.

Top tier: Chicken nuggets, apple slices.

Bottom tier: Cucumber, carrots, cauliflower.

Extras: Mini candybars, ketchup, caramel, spinach dip, Babybel cheese.

Drink: Santa Cruz organic raspberry lemonade.

Leftovers, yum!

Top tier: Steamed pork dumplings from my favorite Chinese joint.

Bottom tier: Dried dates, edamame (frozen, this photo is from the night before. I warmed them and ate them with salt come lunch time).

Extras: Hard candy, mini organic chocolate bar, Babybel cheese, teriyaki sauce.

So here are some money saving/bento packing tips:

1. I think planning is important when you want to start packing lunches everyday. At the end of each week, I try to come up with a list of 5-7 ingredients that can be used a lot of different ways. This way I don’t have to have the same thing 3 days a week. For instance dips or spreads (cream cheese, hummus, spinach dip…). You can pair them with vegetables, pita, lunchmeat, anything! I also like it because I usually end up using everything up and nothing goes to waste.

2. Buy bottled water in bulk. Or drink tap/water cooler water from school or work. Sometimes I allow myself one (overpriced!) coffee or vending machine drink per week. You could also use a thermos and take iced tea, orange juice, or whatever else you have in the fridge from home.

3. Freeze, freeze, freeze. For example, I‘ve bought frozen veggie nuggets, edamame, etc. That means I can also use them the next week if I only wanted to have these items once this week. I think it keeps your menu from being boring! But, I try to limit to one frozen food per bento.

4. Buy in bulk. I get my dried fruit and nuts from bulk bins. That way, it’s cheaper because I only want to use a small amount for the week.

5. Use leftovers. This one is kind of self-explanatory… ;)

6. Invest in one of those little ice packs for your lunch box! They’re only a couple bucks and you can use them over and over. It’s an essential for me, because the a/c in my car doesn‘t work, so my lunch sits in my hot car for an hour on the way to school, yikes :P

7. If you want to buy take out, buy appetizers or a small amount. Or even split a main course in half and eat one for dinner, and one for lunch the next day.

So...what do you do for lunch :D?

Friday, September 4, 2009

Fat Love Friday #5

I wasn't sure if I was going to continue doing these kinds of posts because of the controversy over the last one. To clear things up: Fabulous fat ladies WILL continue to be featured here. I am fat :D. Like many other women, I have found it difficult to embrace my body over the years. Recently, I have slowly become more and more aware of the fact that bodies come in all shapes and sizes and can be, and truly are beautiful - EVEN mine!

The gals posted here are a tribute to or celebration of that idea. As I said the first time, I will spare you the lecture about the unenlightened society we live in. However, I'm sure you already know... unrealistic beauty expectations and shallow messages in the fashion industry are no secret. To put it as simply as possible, the point of this post is to facilitate change. If you do not enjoy this post - please skip it! But for those who have enjoyed it in the past, thanks for your support, I really appreciate it :)!

First up is Lilli, from Frocks and Frou Frou. This girl is absolutely radiant. Her clothes fit like a glove. Plus I love all the funny little details, like quirky owl pins, red boots, and Chihuahua mary janes! Her style is classy, yet still remains whimsical. I also love her uses of color, wide belts, cardigans and ruffles/bows!

It's probably also largely due to her 100 watt smile, but she just seems so approachable. There seems to be such a comfortableness about the WAY she wears her clothes. Her style is so consistent, as if she has figured out what she likes and feels wonderful in, and then owns it with pride, outfit after outfit. I don't think that's easy to do!

And seriously, that is the cutest haircut ever. Don't even lie! At least a few of you are going to take her picture to the hairdresser, aren't you :P?

And of course, another well-known lady: Maria of Corazones Rojos! So, talk about versatility. She looks just as fabulous in those girly day dresses as she does the edgy, destroyed numbers. Personally, I think the '80s is a very difficult era to draw inspiration from, and she does it wonderfully. I love the bright colors and bold prints she chooses. Her style is cool, inventive, yet always perfectly feminine and flattering.

One of my other favorite things about her outfits is the way she mixes patterns and prints. There is a fine line between a hugely creative outfit with patterns that compliment each other, and just a plain mess. Honestly, I don't think I've graduated to that level yet haha. But some day!

Red nails, lime green pants, jean jacket? Yes, please!

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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Style Monster

So, lately...I'm going through a bit of a phase. Or something. We young people do that, right? Reassure me here. It's like my taste in clothes has taken on a mind of its own o.o! My style this summer was basically like art teacher meets your churchgoing Grandmother (let's just be honest haha). For the last few months, I had had the strongest aversion to the mall and store-bought items. And suddenly, BAM! I find myself with the strangest things for fall...

Left: Charlotte Rousse, $12. Right: Etsy, $20.

Left: Maroon rose print pencil skirt, thrifted, $2. Middle: Dusty pink ruffled cami, JC Penney, $17. Right: Embellished rose T-shirt, Target, $22.

Left: Black & white stripe T-shirt: Faith21, $18. Middle: Huge abstract rose bag, Forever21, $18. Right: Simple black boots, Target, $40.

I know, the rose thing has gotta stop haha. But anyway! I've also got a few other things in mind that I'd like to slowly incorporate into my wardrobe and a few things on their way. I also invested in a basic black top, sweater, and pants. I'm also on the hunt for a nice leather jacket. I guess sometimes I just feel kind of, well, OLD dressing all in vintage/thrifted. In fact, well, a few people have told me so.

WAIT - I know what you're thinking. Don't let people change the way you want to dress, wear what you feel good in...I get it. But honestly, sometimes they were right! I'm still a bargain shopper though (after spending all that time paying less than $10 per garment, $40 on a shirt seems a little crazy!), but I am starting to feel a lot more open to more modern styles.

Honestly, you can just blame these (fabulous) people. Just a warning, only click if you are willing to be completely inspired!:

Style Bubble
Garbage Dress
Kingdom of Style
Alice Point