Saturday, March 31, 2012


Baby's first mammatus clouds.

In the hot hot heat

Top: Target | Skirt: Gap | Flats: Payless

I highly recommend getting used to the short skirt/t-shirt look, because it's basically here to stay. It's supposed to be 90 in Cardiganland on Monday. It is April. Living in the South, the summers are always pretty hot, but I have a feeling that between the lack of frost (bugs are out already) and the already record breaking temps, this summer is going to be hell on wheels. So get ready to see a lot more leg than you need to, if only because I can't stand wearing pants in this heat.

PS. This skirt is already a heavy hitter, so expect to see it a lot this summer too!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

If I was your girlfriend

Cardigan: Target | Belt: JCPenney | Skirt: Gap | Flats: Payless | Lips: Maybelline ColorSensational Are You Red-dy | Fingers: butter London Marrow

Can't talk, too busy listening to Justin Bieber's new single

Monday, March 26, 2012

The grand gingham

Necklace: wapa on Etsy | Top: Old Navy | Skirt: Gap | Wedges: Payless | Nails: butter London Slapper

When I hit crisis mode (also known as sleeping through my alarm on a presentation day), I generally grab pants. Overall, this strategy has served me well. I also have a stash of untested "well, what if" outfits hanging at the front end of my closet for me to test run. But today, I didn't have time to dig for pants and a matching top, so I took the outfit and ran. Gingham on gingham can probably be a hot mess if it's done the wrong way, but I think I'm okay. And my presentation went well, so I guess whatever magic powers my Wizard of Oz Tuxedo possesses stuck with me today!

my leg is one MILLION miles long

From hide to seek

Blazer: JCPenney | Dress as top: JCPenney | Skirt: JCPenney | Heels: Urban Outfitters | Brooch: gift | Bow: Forever 21

Here's my version of this week's Style Imitating Art! Salazar picked this adorable watercolour by Chihiro Iwasaki called Playing Hide and Seek, and I think so far this is my favourite. I wanted to take a slightly less literal approach (and I think the next painting I pick won't be of a person) and I really, really like how it turned out. Sweet!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Pupped up kicks

Top: bought in Ohio | Pants: Target | Shoes: Nike Lunarfly+ 3

Have you ever seen The Princess Diaries? If so, then you probably know the part where Mia says she's more of a yoga doing, rockwall climbing, horseback riding kind of exerciser. And If you gleaned anything from the fact that I remember that, then you can probably guess that I too am a yoga doing, rockwall climbing, horseback riding kind of exerciser. (Throw curling in for good measure.) I've never been a fan of straight up cardio; running or walking for the sake of it has never really interested me, and I hate how solitary it is. It's like confinement to me. But I don't really like exercising with other people either, because I'm a fatty and I feel like I'm being judged. But I've started walking (2.5 miles today!) and any judgment I might receive on the trail today is negated by the fact that I have the perfect walking mate. Does she stop right in front of me and refuse to move sometimes? Well, yeah. But she doesn't care how much I weigh, and she doesn't tell me to speed it up, but she's always willing to keep going. She's perfect.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Anchors aweigh

The fake tattoo I drew on my wrist

I've been meaning to make this post for a while now, but I wanted to wait until my tattoo was all healed up. And it has healed beautifully! Yay. These pictures run in chronological order, but my post doesn't. Oops. Warning: slightly squeamish (like swollen skin, no needles!) images posted. Proceed with caution.

The original image from Bowsprite

I've wanted a tattoo for a very, very long time. Most people go through that phase in college of wanting a tattoo, and some actually go through with it. One of my hallmates freshman year got a tattoo, and I believe she doesn't regret it at all, which is fantastic. I also have a friend who got a tattoo when she was around that age and she doesn't exactly love it now. I had a plan, knew exactly what I wanted--a Baskerville typeset ampersand on my left ankle, which for me was a representation of my major and something I really loved (Latin; ampersands developed from a chronic shortening of the Latin word for "and", which is "et"). And honestly, I'm still thinking about getting that tattoo. But throughout college, the timing and/or the money was never right, and I did worry about one day regretting it. I'm glad I waited, though, because now, if I have a child and they try to get a tattoo and fight me on it, saying I have one, I can fight back and say that I waited until 25 so that's how long they can wait too!

My line trace over the original painting

Anyway. I continued to think about tattoos, and the idea of having one rolled around in my head on and off for the rest of my college career and into my current setting. The stigma surrounding tattoos now is far different (and less) than it was 50 and even 10 years ago, and I found little resistance on most fronts regarding getting one. I told my mom first, and she basically said "well, you know how I feel about them, but I'm not going to stop you". My dad just grunted and asked what was on tv, and my coworkers and friends all offered various tips, tidbits and prayers for my soul pre-ink.

The finished product, 45 minutes after tattooing

I did a lot of research before getting my tattoo, from making a Pinterest board for ideas to reading LA Ink's tips for safe tattooing and aftercare. Though I don't necessarily agree with her choice in men, Kat Von D runs an impeccably clean shop and does beautiful work, so I have no problem listening to her when it comes to tattoo care. I also drew on a version of my tattoo (see first picture) and left it there for a week, redrawing as necessary, to see how I'd like it. I knew I wanted it when I finally washed it off and I missed it.

Two hours after tattooing

When the time came for me to actually get my tattoo, my friend S. and I road tripped up to Asheville, specifically looking for Empire Tattoo. She received her first tattoo there, and I also received a great recommendation from my coworker about Empire. I also checked their website and all the online reviews I could find. There's no two ways about this: they were all right. I felt safe and comfortable in Empire, which is a small, professional, well decorated, clean shop right on Patton Ave., which is Asheville's version of main street. Right as I was sitting down for my tattoo (S. went first), the artist dropped a needle on the floor. I thought to myself "OH GOD! THIS IS A TEST!!!" and he passed--he picked up the needle, put it in the hazardous waste bin, and started over. Success! He was also very nice and professional, and we ended up talking about Murder She Wrote and Dragnet while he did my tattoo. Did it hurt? Yeah, somewhat. I was expecting it to hurt much more, though, and where I had it done--on a relatively meaty part of my body, rather than a bony area or on tough skin--was a significant factor of the pain level. The artist who did my tattoo said the wrinkly part of the wrist, right above the hand, is almost like tattooing through leather. That's how tough the skin is. And the tougher it is, the deeper the needle has to go. So there's that.

A closer view, two hours after tattooing

My tattoo healed fairly quickly, though my skin has always healed rather rapidly and usually without scarring after an injury. There was some scabbing (which I was instructed not to pick at, of course!) and it itched like crazy for a little while, but otherwise, no issues.

My view for the rest of my life, about 4 hours post-tattooing

So why the boat? Well, my family has a long history of sailing. I don't know how to sail myself (I'd like to learn someday), but I grew up around sailboats and I distinctly remember one Thanksgiving, during a blowout football game, my uncle changed the channel to the America's Cup and we watched that for the rest of the night. No joke. Sailboats remind me of my childhood, spending time with my family and by the ocean--all things that I love so very much, and nothing can change that. Some people asked why a boat when I could do a curling stone, or a horse shoe, or something involving things I love and do now? I considered that, but I don't like the idea of having something that I may or may not love forever. If I get a curling stone, what if I bust my knee and can never play again? that stone is just a reminder for me that I can't play anymore. To me, if I'm going to have a tattoo, I want it to be a reminder of something I love, or at least can never escape. And as my mother put it, "once you're one of us, there's no getting out". No backsies!

10 days post-tattooing (look closely and you'll see some scabbing)

I also absolutely adore the original painting by Bowsprite, and when her Etsy shop is back up and running (she's on vacation! tear) I plan to buy something from her. I can't wait, because her artwork is gorgeous. I spent a long time looking for the right boat, and the Lettie was perfect. Christina is very talented and I highly recommend her blog if you have any interest in sailing, the New York harbor, or just pretty watercolours. I'm considering adding waves at some point, but that's a way off yet.

So that's my story!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Death by allergies

Cardigan: JCPenney | Belt: Target | Skirt: Gap | Wedges: Payless

I am sick as a dog from an allergy attack that has expanded into a full blown sinus infection, so this is all I have for you. Depending on how long I can drag myself into work for tomorrow, I think I'll probably make a post about my tattoo experience and what comes next. Hopefully I'll see you tomorrow!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Shaking shamrocks

On me: Cardigan: Target | Top: Banana Republic | Belt: Target | Skirt: Target | Wedges: Payless

On K: Pants: Ross | Shoes: Shoe Department | Bracelets: Dots | Necklace: gift | Hair clips: Venus | Shirt: thrifted, sort of

K. is back for another installment of What We Wore! I've been fighting an allergy cough all day (that is slowly spreading into my ears) and got some bad news yesterday, so I'm not much fun tonight. On the bright side, I had my first Shamrock Shake on Friday, and it was a super success. So there is that!

Sunday, March 18, 2012


Ok, so Gracey AND Audrey tagged me for this 11 random things post forever ago, and I feel like I've put it off as long as I can. So here we go!

There are five rules:
1. Post these rules.
2. Post a photo of yourself and 11 random things.
3. Answer the questions set for you in the original post.
4. Create 11 new questions and tag people to answer them.
5. Go to their blog/twitter and tell them you’ve tagged them.

11 random things about me.

1. Just like Gracey, I am cursing MONSTER. You wouldn't believe it reading this blog--I rarely write cursing into anything--but I swear to you, fuck is one of my go to words. I have a terrible mouth. I'm extremely politically incorrect, too.

2. Before I started using Chrome, which has no dropdown address bar, I was very anal about what I typed into my address bar. I can't stand long messy links and used it more as a bookmark bar, so only home pages were ever listed. I hated when a friend would hop on my computer and type in something sloppy!

3. I am an awfully picky eater. My worst offense is that I do not eat the skin on any fruits or veggies except raisins and corn. When I was little, before I stopped eating them altogether, I peeled my peas. Carrots are my best friend simply because they involve no peeling!

4. The high point of my tv career was being in a commercial for a mayoral candidate for the city I lived in when I was 8. I still remember what I wore--a magenta top with purple flowers along the waistline and matching magenta shorts. There is a shot of me, along with three or four kids, skipping down the sidewalk, which let Atlantic City know the candidate meant business about the failing school district. He won, and the school district still sucked.

5. Every year, without fail, I end up with a small arc along the edge of my hairline (right below my gray hairs) that sunburns and freckles like nothing I've ever seen. Even with SPF 50 daily it still burns.

6. I can't stand when people do impressions of other people. I don't know why anyone finds them funny--to me, comedy is only funny when it's original, and impressions are about as far from original as it gets.

7. Although I know this is a case of the grass always being greener on the other side, I've always envied people with birthmarks and scars and distinguishing features on their skin. I think they're really interesting, but all I have is a scar you can barely notice on my left knee from falling when I was in kindergarten and a surgical scar at the bottom of my spine. And now my tattoo.

8. Every year I say I'm going to run a 5k. This year I really am.

9. I am related to a member of the 2010 NCAA Division I football national championship team. (He was at the combine and is hoping to go pro next season!)

10. I would jump at the chance to get plastic surgery. I'd only want one thing though--liposuction on my upper arms. I just want to fit into a blazer like a normal person.

11. I have a rule about pens. I usually use Pilot G2 gel pens, and my rule is: blue for school, black for slack. Yeah, I even have a dumb rhyme for it. I take all my notes, write drafts, and take tests in blue, and for thank you notes, letters to friends, post its to my parents, etc. I write in black.

Gracey's 11 questions.

What is your guilty pleasure? Haha, I actually stopped believing in guilty pleasures a while back, because so much of my entertainment is considered guilty pleasure by my friends and family. But by normal standards, it's most certainly Justin Bieber. I've seen him in concert and I own a JB singing toothbrush!

What place would you most like to visit? I majored in Latin, and the histories of ancient Greece and Rome have been part of my life for a very long time. I had a dream once of walking in the Colosseum, falling to my knees and weeping, and the day that happens, I'll be able to die a happy woman.

If money was no object and you weren’t opposed to spending ridiculous amounts of money of fashion, which designer would you wear? I'm assuming size doesn't matter either, right? Alexander McQueen, all day every day. I'm partial to this dress, specifically, but anything by him will do ;)

Fur. Yeah or nay? I'm not much on fur, but I actually have a mink stole in my closet that I wore to Christmas Eve mass. I haven't posted pictures here because of the argument it may incite, and I struggle sometimes with the idea of owning it, but the reason I have it is because it was originally my grandmother's. It's not something where I went out and directly gave money to a slaughterhouse or a company that supports that practice. I inherited it. I am okay with fur IF it is vintage, inherited, or thrifted, because the damage has already been done, but not if it's fresh off the chopping block. That I can't condone, because it helps keep a company that installs those practices in business.

Do you prefer the mountains or the ocean? I grew up at the ocean and now live near the mountains, and I appreciate them both, but at the end of the day, there's no replacement for the sand between my toes.

What are you most looking forward to in 2012? THE OLYMPICS. Hands down.

What are your thoughts on zombies? I don't get the fuss.

What is the worst book you’ve ever read and how far did you get before giving up? Ugh, The Catcher in the Rye, hands down. Such a miserable, miserable book. I read the whole thing because it was required my sophomore year of high school, and I was the only one in my class who hated it. My teacher actually threatened to fail me if I didn't stop bad mouthing the book! And whenever she posts stuff about Catcher on Facebook, I always remind her how much it sucks.

Momentarily forgetting the lesson we learned in “Midnight in Paris,” if you could live during any era, what era would it be? Honestly, this one. Pretty clothes and fancy lifestyles are one thing, but I don't have enough rights as a female now, let alone in an era previous.

What’s one thing you wish you could do better? Oh goodness. I am a terrible dancer, and everyone always wants to see me dance at weddings, but I just can't. I'm awful.

What is your “signature dish?” (And will you share the recipe?) I make a mean PBJ. Beyond that, my go-to (especially in the summer) is tomato & mozzarella pasta, which everyone seems to love:

2-3 large ripe tomatoes (heirloom are great but beefsteak work too!), chopped into half-inch cubes
8 oz ciliegine mozzarella, quartered, or perline, whole (the fresher the better)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp black pepper
1 package angel hair
Freshly chopped basil (optional but really good)

Mix together the first five ingredients (can be made a day in advance, the longer it marinates the richer the flavours). Cook the pasta. Toss everything together, sprinkle basil on top and eat! Serves 4, or 3 in the case of my family. Minus the pasta, it makes a great summer salad.

My 11 questions for the bloggers listed below.

1. Do you have any life goals?
2. What's the last book you read for fun? Love it, hate it?
3. How do you feel about ebooks?
4. Why did you decide to create your blog? Is that still your intent or has it changed?
5. What is your favourite font?
6. What is your Girl Scout cookie of choice?
7. Tell me about your mode of transportation in life.
8. Do you like memes? Do you have a favourite?
9. How do you relax?
10. What is the most daring thing you've done?
11. If you take pictures for your blog, how do you do it? Does someone do it for you? Tripod? What kind of camera do you use?

So I tag...

Salazar of 14 Shades of Gray
Madeline of Madeline Quaint
Rebekah of From the Mixed Up Files...
Jessica of Hip to Be Square
Erin of Plus Sized Pretty

Yay! That was long.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The milkmaid cometh

Top: Anthropologie | Skirt: JCPenney | Wedges: Shoe Carnival

You can't see it very well in these photos, but today's outfit shoot involved fat raindrops plopping on my head, extreme gusts of wind stinging my face, and me going "aaaaahhhhh!" every time another blast of said wind slapped me back and forth. But you know what didn't get slapped back and forth? My milkmaid braids, which apparently my hair is long enough for. Those suckers are going nowhere.