Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Clovers are the new hearts...

All of my favorite jewelry is from Etsy.

For those who may not know me I need to start with this, I have a shopping addiction. If you're reading this blog, you probably know that. I'd like to think that I've gotten a lot better from where I used to be, mostly because I cannot afford to fill up my gas tank and also buy 7 sweaters in one day. Over the last couple of years, I've purchased A LOT of costume jewelry, but the problem with cheap jewelry is that it almost alway breaks, or starts to look gross with tarnish.

 In the last year, in building up my student teaching wardrobe, I've started purchasing more and more jewelry from Etsy.com. Etsy is a website where artisans can list handmade jewelry, among other goods, and the cost is relatively reasonable. 

Also the quality of the jewelry seems to hold up much better than any of my other purchases. 

These are some of my favorites:

Vermeil baby owl charm that I've dubbed Simon.

Vermeil & crystal earrings.

Vermeil initial charm....mine has an A on it. 

Beaded & ceramic rose earrings.

Wooden crane brooch that I wear on my blazers at work.

Earring frame that I bought to display my collection in my room.

White & CZ encrusted clover necklace.

Black & vermeil clover necklace.

Matching earrings to my white clover necklace.

Turquoise resin rose studs.
What I love about Etsy is that for the most part it is independently run. The artists are charged a fee for their listings, but overall they receive all of the proceeds & shipping costs for their goods. They accept paypal, which is wonderful, and dangerous at the same time. 

Most of my jewelry that I've purchased is vermeil, which is an amazing invention. Vermeil is a mixture of silver with gold, often gold filled, which puts it in a more "fine jewelry" category. Vermeil does not tarnish like sterling silver, but it still has that matte gold finish that I adore. It looks like it's worth a whole lot more than I've actually paid for it, and it goes with all of my outfits.

A lot of the artists also package the jewelry in little boxes with cotton, which is wonderful for gifting. 

I know I'm not the first person to discover etsy, but now that my iphone has the etsy addict app, I'm sure I could never stop buying from the site. 

Inspired by Mindy Kaling

Mindy Kaling

I adore Mindy Kaling. I want to be her best friend. I'm pretty sure we would get along amazingly as a lot of her concerns also concern me. In her most recent post Mindy wrote about certain things that she loves that don't really fit her lifestyle, like Alexander McQueen clutches, or in my case, Alexander McQueen anything.

This old thing? Would only cost me $1,600. Not like I make that much in an entire year or anything...
BUT I also have a chandelier obsession. In FACT, my sister and I have an actual chandelier in our room. This is due to the fact that our mother also shares this chandelier obsession. We have a chandelier in 4 rooms of our house. 

My mom's room.


Dining Room.

Our bedroom.
So when Katy Perry sings about the chandelier being on the floor, in the classic, Last Friday Night, my head screams "NO! NOT THE CHANDELIER!"

However, Mindy and I have even more in common than just ridiculously lavish tastes in accessories and overzealous infatuations in light fixtures. 

We both are shoe addicts. In a recent vlog that I think I saw on the NBC website, Mindy gives viewers a tour of her office, in which she has a box of shoes. A large, LARGE, cardboard box of just shoes, you know, just in case. 


Mindy also introduced me to Tavi Gevinson, and her online magazine, Rookie. Tavi is 16. 16! I wish she was in the classes I taught because she's extremely intelligent and also totally comfortable in her own skin. 

How adorable is she? And winged eyeliner. I also do that. 
There are more comparisons, I'm sure. But Mindy (and Tavi) I want to be your best friend. That's all. I think you're the bees knees, a phrase I do not really understand since I don't think bees have knees, but Mindy and I also BOTH have knees! Coincidence...I think not.

You can check out Mindy's book here: Barnes & Noble

And Tavi's online mag here: Rookie

What Bobbi Brown Taught Me

From the time I was a little girl, I have always been interested in wearing make-up. My mother would use the brightest red lipstick and the blackest mascara to get me all glamourous for my dance recitals, and I would hope against hope that she would let me leave it on afterwards. It made me feel so pretty and edgy at the same time.

When I was 13 my mom finally let me wear some make-up, unfortunately it was only a bit of clear mascara and lip gloss, but by 14 I had mastered the art of hiding ice blue eye shadow in my locker at middle school. Ice blue eye shadow is not cool. And it wasn't cool then, but at the time I thought it was just about the best thing ever invented. I was at a point in my life where I wanted very much to be unique, but I also was too afraid to wear the things I really liked in public if anyone made a comment. My rainbow tights made it out exactly once before they were forever banned from my public school wardrobe. ( In private, I still thought they were amazing. )

The coolest outfit in my childhood..

But when I was 16 I received one of the best gifts ever and it was not rainbow gloves to match my tights. It was a book by Bobbi Brown, Teenage Beauty: Everything you need to look pretty, natural, sexy & awesome. This book was my 16 year old beauty bible. It taught me that less really is more. Red lipstick is for evening functions and only works with certain complexions. Cover-up should match your skin color EXACTLY. And it had pictures of teenage Brooke Shields from The Blue Lagoon, a movie I was admittedly obsessed with in all of it's cheesy over-sexual glory.

I read this book every day.
To my mom's credit, she did tell me all of these things in regards to a more natural look with make-up, but Bobbi's writing style drew me in completely. Her book used images of real teenagers also, who all ranged from 13-16 years old. These kids had braces, skinny legs, and stringy hair, just like me, and when Bobbi got done with them they were beautiful, but the thing is, she knew they were already beautiful, but she enhanced their beauty naturally with a touch of rouge. 

When I was going to community college, I actually had the chance to hear Bobbi speak and I loved her even more. When talking about making her career, and just starting out, a subject that hit close to home for me, because I had no idea what I wanted to do, she said something I'll never forget.

Bobbi had dropped out of college and was very confused about what she wanted to do with her life. Her mother asked her "If you could do anything in the world today, what would you do?" And Bobbi replied with saying she would do her friend's make up, something she frequently did and really enjoyed. So she and her mother did some research and plotted out how to master a career as a make-up artist, which Bobbi is among one of the most successful artists today. 

Now I have previously owned just one pot of cream blush (in roseberry, which I'm pretty sure is not a real berry...) by Bobbi, but I always visit her website and dream that I'll buy her creamy foundations and blackest black mascaras. But even she says, you don't have to buy her cosmetics. Yes it is her company but they are her recommended formulas due to what she has used in making up faces on the runway. Bobbi even states in several of her books that you need to experiment with cheap alternatives before you throw money away on make-up, because formulas change and not everything works for every person. 

A huge lesson learned from Bobbi is that in her teenage years, she yearned to be perfect, but eventually she gave that up and learned to be Bobbi. And that, to me, is perfection anyway.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Tip from a good friend: Starting outfits simple

Casual Night Out

So my friend Heather & I are fashion addicts. ADDICTS. We both love putting outfits together, reading blogs about putting outfits together, looking at stylish girls with their awesome outfits. We love clothes. 

We also both write about clothes. You can read her amazing blog Sugar & Spice and see how cool she really is. 

One thing we were talking about recently though was how hard it is to get ready for a night out. There are so many choices, and yet, no matter how many clothes we both have in our wardrobe, it always feels like there is nothing to wear. This is partly the fault of Facebook. Every time I feel like I put a great outfit together, I take pictures with friends that ultimately end up on Facebook, which is a double-edged sword. The positive is that I always feel like I look great in these photos. The negative is that the outfit is now ruined. Forever. 

I am a  little less inclined to feel this way recently, only because I have over 2,000 photos uploaded on Facebook, and I've also realized now in my late 20's that no one really cares if you repeat an outfit. At least nobody that matters. 

However a really great tip Heather gave me was this; when putting together an outfit, start out with something really simple and comfortable, then add something eye catching. Or pick out the piece you want to work the outfit around, but add more accessories sparingly. A lot of times you'll end up with something that looks stylish AND care-free. 

I've decided for my next outing (which will also be my birthday celebration) I will be wearing a sweater I recently purchased at Forever 21 with my woven fedora hat. 

Dressing down when you go out will also be eye-catching as well as comfortable because it will be seem unexpected. 

$23 - forever21.com
$50 - hollisterco.com
£170 - harveynichols.com
$11 - forever21.com

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Polka dots are kinda a thing

Polka Dots
I am really, really into polka dots lately. I'm into dots on clothing almost as much as I'm into birds on


clothing...which is a lot. I just find polka dots super endearing, no matter what you throw them on. If you think about it, polka dots are somewhat of a classic now. Think of the 1940's and 1950's, everybody was wearing polka dots. Polka dots on anything makes it seem like a classic, or vintage. I like to wear polka dot skirts, heels and sweaters when I teach because they are stylish, still moderately young looking, but doesn't make me look like the 14 year olds that I'm teaching...unless I were to pair the polka dots with a pair of uggs, or a hoodie, which I wouldn't.

You may or may not be as obsessed with polka dots as I am, but that's ok. I am building up my collection of dotted clothing to compete with my collection of striped clothing, then they're going to war with each other.

No not really. But stripes you can win or lose with. Horizontal stripes don't look great on everyone. I don't know if they really make it seem like you're heavier, but vertical stripes do seem to have that sliming affect. Polka dots are just amazing and smoothing out all of those lady lumps we want to hide.

That's my stance and I'm sticking to it.

Dorothy Perkins dot dress
$29 - dorothyperkins.com

Dorothy Perkins navy blue polka dot dress
$27 - dorothyperkins.com

Forever 21 long sleeve sweater
$23 - forever21.com

Forever 21 long sleeve cardigan
$14 - forever21.com

$16 - forever21.com

Polka dot shorts
$21 - rustyzipper.com

Forever 21 straw hat
$9.80 - forever21.com

Polka Dot Cosmetic Bag
$4.80 - forever21.com