Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Daily obsession

Vintage Madness

I am in love with this retro look but I doby know why.... Turtlenecks are never flattering, a double breasted suit is dated and the wooden buttons are less vintage then crafty

And yet it is so off the beaten path that I love this look... The leather sneakers add hipster cred, styling without socks is very on point, and the aviator glasses are timeless...

And Nick Jonas does add a little something too...

Monday, January 26, 2015

Inspiration Monday

Inspiration Monday

Just watch this video--the whole thing from beginning to end--then try and tell me this does not change your prospective on life... It is just beyond everything

The vast wonders yet to be seen... Le Sigh

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Etsy Eclectic

Etsy Eclectic: Velvet Painting Madness by Rustycuts 

Okay--this week's find was actually because I was searching out black velvet paintings for the apartment.... I was inspired by my friend Valeska's last poster purchase--a Dolly Parton concert poster inspired by a black velvet painting idea

This is MADE of win

So the key to etsy is to realize at some point your search will go wonky--I don't know if it is because people don't know how to properly post their items, if it is just a bad search engine or that some people are asses and just click on every tag... Regardless--these search issues are the most intimidating thing about Etsy by far and yet sometimes you find things like this:

                        I Think This is What the Rolling Stones Song is About-Wild Horses

These are Tijuana-based velvet paintings being repurposed as skirts for everyday wear by the Etsy store Rustycuts. I'm glad the I dont know how many times you might need horses galloping across your booty but it is out there and at a reasonable price--plus there are many different ideas to pick from--and here's my favorite:

                                  Cause Jesus on the Crotch Really is a Religious Moment

To be honest--though it seems like I am making fun--I do love these artists who are finding unusual ideas for their fabric and turning to other art forms for inspiration whether it is afghans becoming mens' shorts, velvet paintings as party wear or whatever else Etsy has in store... I'm just more annoyed that my velvet painting shirt somehow led to pictures of red velvet cupcake items and now I'm hungry

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Book Whore

Book Whore--Caitlin: The Love Trilogy by Francine Pascal (But really by Joanna Campbell)

So for Christmas I spent a lot of time thinking about random gift ideas for heap or unique--not for anyone else but for myself... I decided I was going to try and come up with a list of random books from my childhood to track down--which you can do pretty easily nowadays--and my first attempt was the entire Caitlin Series by Francine Pascal...

So here's the deal--the Caitlin series consists of three trilogies (or a trilogy of trilogies?) that covers the high school, college and early adult years of Caitlin Ryan. The series was seemingly created by Francine Pascal but each trilogy had its own author... I'm going to start with just a straight out review of the first trilogy in it's entirety because I'm suspecting I don't want to spend this much time with these characters after this first trilogy...

So the Love Trilogy is about poor little rich girl Caitlin Ryan--an orphan being raised by her wealthy and powerful grandmother Regina which makes her the heiress to the Ryan Mining Company... She lives at an exclusive Virginia boarding school, is a riding champ and all-around bitch. If anything, Caitlin is the cool great aunt to Blair Waldorf of Gossip Girl--she is smart, witty, observant and motivated with a side of cruelty and high 80s fashion

The story kicks off as Caitlin meets and falls for a new student at the boarding school--Jed Michaels--who is unique because he is a wealthy rancher's son and from Montana... He isn't swayed by the sweet face/devil's heart that Caitlin has going on so she decides to do anything she can to make him want her... But she is somewhat foiled when she realizes he has feelings for a scholarship student named Diana--who Caitlin hates for being poor and having to do a work study on campus.

Yeah this is our heroine.

But the other side of the story is about how Caitlin is an orphan being raised by an indifferent grandmother who seems to blame her because of her mother's death in child birth. She is constantly being molded to become the future head of Ryan Mining which she doesnt want, is always put in her place by her grandmother for never being enough like her mother and when the books take her to the family estate all of the guile and headstrong aspects of Caitlin disappear. This is a huge thing that saves the novel from just being about a bitch--she becomes more rounded.

Now without giving away anything too juicy, throughout the three books basically Caitlin accidentally set a handful of things in motion that result in someone being crippled, someone leaving in disgrace, someone else using an disguise to cure disease, a lesson on the effects of strip mining and an actual case of anorexia for someone else--this is the MOST 80s BOOK EVER.

Without the simple morality of a Jessica/Elizabeth Wakefield plot.

That being said--I actual found myself rooting for Caitlin because she is an interesting mix of bravada and sadness that actually twists and changes throughout the story. Joanna Campbell does a great job of taking us inside the head of Caitlin--one part the constant observer who uses other's passions and weakness to get what she wants, another part the sad little girl who turns into herself as she struggles to find someone to love her.

The writing for this trilogy is pretty standard for 80s Young Adult, the fashions are crazy and very 80s, and some of the issues that are brought up seem a bit After School Special--but the plot itself is surprising at points and really kept me turning the page... Also the interior life of Caitlin is interestingly written, complex with a slew of issues and understandable faults--she really does feel like the first true anti-heroine of young adult literature and that alone makes the series worth a read...

The only thing disappointing? The next series, Caitlin: Promises, is written by another author and it shows.

Monday, January 19, 2015


Inspiration Monday

Okay this picture of John Wayne is from the Phil Stern collection which was recently shown at Mack Sennett Studios this past Sunday.... Stern was 95 years old and passed away this last December--he was known for his candid photos of stars such as Wayne, Marilyn Monroe, James Dean among others.. He was also a set photographer for everything from "Guys and Dolls" to "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" as well as having done work for Vanity Fair and Life Magazine so he had a pretty full career with some amazing people

Honestly people like this want to make me change gears and find a way to do more with more people... Anything that pushes on the comfort zone is a good thing--expanding and growing makes a better life

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Fashion Friday

Fashion Foward Retro

I love that fall 2015 looks are starting to come down the runways--especially when I've been rocking the new looks for the past few years... I love that mens Sherpa coats are coming back in style since they have that hippie Western feel I like...

Plus Griffin on "Party of Five" was always rocking one on the show...

I always wanted to be Julia Salinger.


I know he was on Nancy Grace for a political/ideology debate about legality of marijuana but I am obsessed with 2 Chainz sweater and sunglasses... I wish I knew his stylist's Twitter because I am all about the pattern of the sweater and his retro sunglasses vibe

That and I'm in total agreement on his stance regarding pot... And this choice of outfit to smoke in

Monday, January 12, 2015

Inspiration Monday

It's so foggy and mysterious--even if it's Monday I'm expecting some kind of an adventure to coming creeping out of the mists

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Etsy Eclectic

Knit Shorts/Former Afgans

These exist... Drawstring custom shorts made from afgan blankets--I am in love with!!!! This is so 70s hippie lifestyle and this look works especially for summer cabin trips and concert festivals!!!

I will be spotted wearing these this summer in the Midwest....

Monday, January 05, 2015

Inspiration Monday

New Year--New Projects

Once all the Christmas is packed away, the cleaning eating has started and the party schedule has cleared I like to try and focus on my home and change things up.... Whether it is finding things to donate to make space for all the new gifts from the holidays or a new craft project or two during the yearly "down" time--I just love using this time to work on making home more homey.....

And I love going through places like Pinterest, Apartment Therapy and other crafty websites for ideas and especially love finding cheap and easy ideas to make things look high-end and custom made. I know I have thrown up different ideas here in the past but every so often I get ideas sent to my by readers that I'd also like to share:

This picture was sent to me by a reader named Frankie--she knows how much I love the Ikea hacking aesthetic. The idea of using two cheap shelving units to create a console table is not only easy and affordable but also looks like a custom storage piece which just adds to the overall value. I also like how it creates its own visual room--like a walkway meets library.

This picture was sent by a reader named Wendy--I love the use of tiny shelves for displaying book covers as art... I also love how the grouping pairs art, books, photography and small items in a useful way and could be a perfect idea for a kitchen using cookbooks, framed handwritten family recipes and small items like salt and pepper shakes or garlic presses.

And while these are all simple changes--my personal favorite is a link sent by Chloe... It is worth reading to see how to custom a pair of cheap chairs into high end art deco pieces like these:

Seriously--read the link art chair hack

So feel free to comment below with any suggestions for home art and storage ideas--I'm always looking for new ideas

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Thursday Truths--Happy New Year

Happy New Year--Or Tips To Make It One

It's a new year and time for most--not all--to take stock of their lives and set new resolutions.... Dieting, quitting smoking, being less stressed are all common themes people look at when January rolls around--so I'm going to share some fun tips/distractions to help you along the path to success

When I quit smoking last year--one of things I had to learn to do was find other ways to channel my energy and thoughts away from my desire for smoking--and it is usually the same thing when it comes to dieting... To be successful you have to find new ways to deal with the stress of cravings--and with the help of whatever medicines you are using--hopefully creating new ways to distract yourself can help.

1) Fill the time with something new.
One of the best way to defeat cravings is to use that time period for something else--a built in distract since most cravings have been proven to disappear in a 10-20 minute from the first stirrings. I would use this time to stop down at work and play on for a quiz or two to distract me from the stress--using my brain in a different way really seemed to help.

I also used Twitter a lot to find quick stories to read as I would take a brisk walk from my desk to the other side of the office or even around the block for lunch... And Twitter is not all Kim Kardashian butt pics and gossip--I follow Morgan Fairchild (@morgfair) who is constantly posting stories about art, world politics, animals and science facts.... I also follow Forever Young Adult (4everYA) which is a twitter about things like Sweet Valley High, Twilight and a million good--and in some case forgotten--YA books, TV shows and stars...

I also found using Instagram with the right people to be a great brief and uplifting distraction... For male fashion I follow blogger Justin Livingston (Justinliv) is one of the most wearable and "real life" fashion guys out there--besides great looks he has a fun and goofy personality that makes me smile and enjoy clothing... For food porn I follow Thug Kitchen (thugkitchen)--they are the best for really healthy and usually vegan meal ideas served with street slang... And when quitting smoking or dieting it is all about the cravings and this account gave me fun options to try... And for general fun you could follow Logreglan--the official Instagram of the Reykjavik police which sounds odd but is some of the most odd, funny and charming pictures you can see--sure to bring a smile

The reason I am suggesting phone apps where is that is it is something you can always have with you on the go!

2) Create Positive Little Moments
I found one of the best things I did during this time was to find little things to make me unexpectedly happy... The other side benefit of pursing happy little things was that I gradually shifted from associating simple things like coffee and cigarettes with my morning routine to a new one with tea and a morning walk--creating something positive to  latch onto...

The first thing I suggest is finding a new way to start your day--whether it is a new route to work, a podcast to engage with or just simply shaking up your coffee drink order... There is the secret Starbucks menu ( to help you wake up in a new way--I love the "medicine ball" which contains two types of tea and steam lemonade!

If you're a walker like I am--you can try a new mapping app like The Moves ($3 at App store) to work out a new travel route which will shake up your mind and help break bad habits. As a side note, this add helps to track the number of steps you take daily with out using up all the energy in your phone which works for us dieters too--increasing and monitoring exercise easily... You can also do this route changing with your auto commute as well--change these things up for the first 6 weeks of your health kick and it will be a huge help but then you can go back to the old travel routes which will feel new again!!! (This six weeks thing is a good mind trick in general)

3) Embrace the Milestones
While I'm not out to make people overshare--no one loves the dieter who never stops talking about his diet--I do think you have to have a plan to celebrate your success as you go with little rewards... One of the things that really worked with me was having a a list of big and small items i could get as I went through the quitting process; some were big items like limited edition sneakers from Converse while others were simple like a eyebrow trimming or a day at the used bookstore with 5 dollars and no real mission... The more you make this process fun and exciting the more success you will have... Use the money you are saving for museum trips or spa days, a small extra coffee or cocktail or plans with friends and famly... Make it about you

But remember most of all that this is your journal--figure why you want to change, how that change best works for you and how you want to be once you have made that change.... You can do it

(As always--I got jack from any of the companies or people or accounts I listed above. I just like their shit)