Saturday, February 20, 2010


I reached 28 followers in the month with 28 days in the year that I will turn 28.

In honor of this most humble achievement, I've got something brewing.

Stay tuned...

Thursday, February 18, 2010

I got to say, it was a good day.

And if Ice Cube doesn't immediately come to mind, well then kids, I don't know what to tell ya.

Looking in my mirror, not a jacker in sight
And everything is alright...

No helicopter looking for a murder
Two in the morning got a fat burger...

Who wouldn't love to have a day like that?

Nobody I know ahhhviously.

Seriously though, that song is terrible.  Terrible if you're a woman, terrible if you're a human.  But damn if it doesn't feel good to blast it whilst driving down the highway on your way home from a craptastic day of doo-doo shoveling at whatever hole in the earth you pay your past life's dues.

My bad day had nothing to do with work or school or marriage or any of those other subjects that my all-knowing grandmother would have told me to just stick a pin in and be done with.  Oh to be eighty-two and all-knowing...

It was just a bad day.  But it ended like this...

Sooo... you guessed it... I got to say, it was a good day.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Whoa American Eagle, Whoa.

It always starts with "Man, I need some jeans", and then in no time it evolves into, "Man, I need some jeans but I still haven't lost those last few Thanksgiving/Christmas/Birthday pounds so I don't really want to drop a ton of money on a pair of jeans that will probably be too big (pssht, yeah right, they'll fit forever) in a month or so.  So even though I'm almost 28 and never know what kind of music they're playing there, I guess I'll go to American Eagle and just see what they have because secretly (or not so very) in the back of my mind I know that those jeans fit me great when I was 16 and will fit me just as well now that I'm older, wiser, and completely out of touch with tie-dye and whatever else they're selling in that Abercrombie for the less slooty crowd..."

And then before I know it I'm striding through the double doors in my leopard print pony hair heels, dressed for my age, and feeling like at any moment I am to be outed by the inappropriate police.

I am immediately greeted by an absolutely adorable young thing who must have sensed my displacement as she gave me such a quizzical look and asked, "What can I help you find?" leaving no room for the possibility that I might just be browsing and penniless like the two dozen or so other youngsters crawling all over the walls.

I smile, smooth my hair (hers was so bouncy, I chagrined), and say, "I, uh.. jeans.  The, uh, Artist fit, maybe?"

She bounced, bounced I tell you!, towards the obvious wall of jeans.  I mean, seriously, I've been here a hundred times, I know where the jeans are.  Not to mention I can read - well, in fact.  But I was so memorized by her charm, I followed her like a docent.

And in no time, after I had been assessed as capable and left to my own devices, I was chin-deep in three different fits, multiple sizes, and a heft of cotton tops from the clearance rack, which by the way are an additional 40% off through the rest of the week, so said my flannel-clad little friend.

I spotted what could be my new favorite dork-of-all-dorks sweater vest and in stooping to snag one I dropped half my load.  Sigh. Just when things were starting to go well...

And then, from out of the shadows, another AE cherub appeared and actually asked if she could start me a room.  I've been an AE shopper for many a year and never once has one of their employees actually offered to take a pile off my hands and help me help them meet their sales goal for the day.  I was impressed.  She asked my name, took most of my things, and then came back to find me a few moments later to let me know that Mia was waiting for me in the fitting room and just let her know who I was (who I was?  who am I..?) whenever I was ready.

Once I made my way back, sure as sugar cookies, Mia was waiting with a smile and a key, showed me to a room with all of my items neatly hung and told me not too worry, take as long as I needed, and let her know if there was anything she could bring.

Ok.  I get it.  They think I'm a secret shopper.  Whatevs, the service was great!  Outside I could hear my good friend Mia kindly telling shoppers they had to limit their fitting room items to five at a time, meanwhile I had well over twenty.  I kinda felt like a heel, but again, if this is what being almost 28 and shopping at a tweeny store gets you, I'll take it.  I'm in my twirtys, I deserve a break.

So here's what I wore on my little jaunt to twinkle town.

Simple really... Old as heck black v-neck from H&M
Blue & white striped button down from Ralph Lauren
Belt from Old Navy
Levi's 519 - distressing courtesy of yours truly ;)
Poppy Necklace by Gorjana 
Leopard Pony Hair Heels from Nine West (circa 2007-2008)
Camera - freebie from travel agent who booked our honeymoon! And it takes pictures like it was free... yeah, sorry about that.

Here's what I tried on and feel just brave enough to share.

For reference, I'm about 5'4.5" (hey now, the .5 counts) and weigh anywhere between 130-135lbs (right now I'm probably at the higher end of that range).  The jeans are a 6 Short and are a perfect length.  Easy to wear with flats and not risk high-water hems, and as you can see they work with heels as well.

The shirt was cute - the studs are very subtle and not at all costume-ish in my opinion.  I actually bought it, size 8, but then I looked at the pictures and saw that it was pulling a bit at the chest (I'm a 34C), so back it went.  Fortunate considering what I found down the hall, but more on that in a bit.

Next up was this Nordic-looking vest.  I don't see it on the website, but in store it was marked down to $14.95 and then an additional 40% off.

My face says it all, huh?  I just wasn't sure.  It's the kind of thing I love to have on hand to throw on as you see here, over long-sleeve t-shirt dresses, or tunics and leggings, maybe totally boho.  But something was making me question... maybe the fact that for a second I thought I looked forty, and while there's nothing wrong with that when you are forty (or fifty, or sixty), I still haven't cracked thirty, so it gave me a moment's pause.

In the end, I bought it.  It was like, no dollars and negative cents. And really, is it that bad?  Tell me, I can take it.

What do you think?

So then there was this top.  I wish I had bought it, and again it's not on the website.  

Simple cream-colored cotton with a bib necklace embellishment along the scoop neck.  It felt heavenly and I have no idea why I didn't buy it.  Something to do with shopping for the season and being financially responsible I'm sure.  Might have to give them a ring tomorrow to see if it's still available.

$19.95 + 40% off.  Duh Kristen, duh.

Sorry again for the terrible image.

On the hanger, this purple sweater reminded me of the cute tops my mom is so often pictured wearing when I was just a little thing and she was my age.  I had hope.

But, it gave me dreaded waistband tummy.  Even with a belt to distract, this was a no-can-do.

I was feeling good with the chambray shirt, crazy soccer mom goes hippie Nordic sweater vest, and Artist jeans, so I packed it all in and headed for the register.  Nothing much to report there.

My next stop was Forever 21.  With the way they change their sales floor, I feel like a mandatory sweep of new inventory is just par for the course on any casual trip to the mall.  I really wasn't expecting anything, until I spotted this...

Yup, that's another Chambray shirt, in a longer, tunic length, and completely lacking in embellishment.  Not to mention, this one actually fits my bewbs.  Size Small.  Sold.

Online it looks like a giant paper sack, but I think it was cut quite nicely, fitting close to the natural body line without losing its relaxed feel.  

And of course I tried it on under my new little snuggle buddy...

We loungin', they hatin'.

And yes, I changed my shoes.  For one thing it had begun to flurry outside, and regardless, this girl always has her Madden Girl Heavenly Flats in tow.

And that was it dear readers, a quick little outing that shocked me with excellent retail customer service and an easy-to-spot find at Forever 21 that I *think* may actually turn into a long-lived wardrobe staple.

If I had to name a downside to balance my yin, I suppose it would be the impossible to ignore realization that my hair has entered a state of the brassies.  I've been growing it out for a while and avoiding chemical treatments at all costs, but I think it may be time.  We're looking a little rusty and with springtime on the horizon this simply will not do.  

So chat with me, let me know your thoughts.. be it on the sweater vest or the unfortunate tabloid disaster that seems to be the Winter Olympics.  Seriously, whatever happened to athleticism for athleticism's sake?  A topic for another post I suppose, and another blogger.  But I am loving me these bedazzled skating costumes.

Cheers to all!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Some seriously awesome vintage

So, I think you know by now that I am all up in Etsy's backside and you probably picture me as a walking craft show with puka shell necklaces hanging from my every which way to go.

I'm not gonna argue. But look, it's really about supporting the self-made, the creative, and in regards to the subject of this post - the pure genius. I'm not on Etsy's payroll, nor am I ever the recipient of free schwag. This I bring you from the heart.

The store is Persephone Vintage and it's a cornucopia chock full of mid-century, art deco, and 70's disco rock candy. It takes a keen eye to spot such treasures, and a mighty large heart to hand them over to another. Another thing I like about this store, besides the 596 positive reviews, is the very reasonable shipping.

And the congregation said, "Amen!"

For realz though, what's the fun in discovering a steal only to pay out the insole just to get it to your door? I'll admit, in my former life as a selfish miser I would have kept this secret for myself, but seeing as how I'm still indefinitely unemployed the new me feels compelled to share this bounty with the entirety of my blogging world - all 27 of you. It's Kristen 2010 ya'll - hop on.

And without further adieu... the goods.

This is just a smidge of the selection that awaits, basically as much html code as blogger would allow on my struggling internet connection. So make haste and pay Persephone Vintage a visit - and if you decide to take something home, please come back and share.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

A Lot Like Love

There was a time, nay, an altogether gilded age when it was just me and my precious dog Daphne, living the somewhat single gal's dream. Working in the big city by day, living in a cozy one-bed apartment by night. We had an adorable cherry red coffee maker, walk-in closet, and sometimes we both had Honey Nut Cheerios for dinner. On the sofa. In our underpants.

It was grand.

This was also around the time when the Ashton Kutcher classic A Lot Like Love was on TBS, FX, or some other equally fantastic repository channel for not even worth the senior citizen discount price when you were a new release movies that somehow magically turn into the greatest flicks you have ever seen once they hit the small screen. Daph and me, we loved this movie.

A guy and a girl meet when the guy is in that post-grad, on the cusp of greatness, yet painfully awkward to others in his self-confident exuberance phase of life and the girl was a bit angry, wearing sloppy black eyeliner and boots with safety pins. They have this frolic of a romp through New York City and then she leaves. He tries to stop her and she says, "Don't, you'll ruin it."

I think the movie has a time span of something like seven years. They meet each other in contrived ways which because of their growing friendship seem entirely natural and spontaneous. They have invested relationships with other people. She gets engaged. But really the everyday happenings in their individual lives are so secondary, and not just to the story surrounding the two main characters, but to the prevailing theme of the movie that no matter how many years have passed, when they do come together it's as if no time has passed at all.

I've had great friendships like that. Some became love stories, some continue on just as they are. One in particular I married.

There was a period when it seemed this movie was on every Friday and Saturday night, and being a bit of a housecat with a puppy to care for and willing to take any excuse to stay in and enjoy the sofa I bought with my very own money, I probably watched it the better of a dozen times. And then I moved in with my new fiance and it wasn't on anymore. Every once in a great blue moon I would catch the tail end or see that it would be on at some obscure time during the day, but those weekend night viewings came to an end and after a while I didn't even remember to miss it.

But it was on tonight. And with such perfect timing that I have to wonder - who's really in charge of television programming these days? Sugar cookies were out of the oven, husband had had his fill of baked goods and xbox gaming and was now passed out on the couch, blankie style. I made myself a cook's glass of wine and stretched out on the second favorite sofa of my life. My movie was on in all its glory and the memories of my apartment, girlishness, and a fuzzy-haired, puppy-breath version of my baby Daphne came flooding back. It made me want to relive days gone by, put on a bright green face mask and call my boyfriend from under my Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic bedspread that marriage and compromise have since banished to storage.

Outside, the snow was glittery and still untouched and even the 27, almost 28 year old, married, and arguably full-blown headcase version of me had to agree...

...all was right with my world.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

And just like that.

My husband, whose name is Mike by the way, blew my mind in the car today. I'm not talking "tipped my head to the side, said 'huh', and then moved on with life". No, this was like "wiped the slate clean, removed every wrinkle from my brain, forgot I was human and responsible for safely operating a moving vehicle" mind blownation. And he wasn't even there.

I can't remember when it was... Saturday night, Sunday...? but in a recent enough period of time we have had a succession of fairly horrible fights. They are about so many things, but really what they all boil down to (prepare for completely unoriginal thought here) is that we communicate our disappointments and unmet needs differently. It's like there are love languages or something...

While I do care, very much so actually, when the house is a mess, the bills are piling up on the dining room table, and the dirty laundry outnumbers the clean by a daunting ratio, I can still look at my husband and feel the desire to love. When the environment around me is unsettling, I seek him out, enter the mancave, and kiss the freckle at the back of his neck. It's soothing, and it's a moment I can steal before the inevitable.

Then I feel him recoil. I come around to face him and see him looking at me with eyebrows raised... What are you doing here? And further still... What are you doing in here when there is so much to do out there? And my comfort spot is gone, hurt and confusion, sometimes even desperation, fills the space.

He's not wrong. I did promise I would tackle the laundry after I was done studying for my next exam, and I sat here in this same spot last Wednesday swearing to the moon and back that I would clean the bathrooms and organize my make-shift office on the coffee table by sundown Sunday evening. In my breaking heart, I wanted to. I wanted to make things right in this house.

When the situation is as described, house = mess, bills = piling, laundry = undone, my husband does not feel the desire to love. He feels the weight of being the sole income-earner, the refrigerator that needs filling, the gas and electric bill that doubles seemingly without cause. He may recall the time I told him that his methods of cleaning were hardly even, and that I would much prefer if he never scrubbed the toilets again. I may have added that if he dusted the furniture like he detailed his car he wouldn't even need a wife. Those criticisms were a promise, now broken. Like I said, I'm not innocent.

Transitioning from a full-time employee to an overtime student never happened. I never figured out how to balance eight-hour days in the classroom, two to three-hour (and some days, till dawn) evenings of school work and studying, sleep, and hospital rotations with continuing to be a partner, as well as a wife.

So I've basically just been promising, and promising and promising and promising.

We had our huge fight. It went on for hours, turned into a heated discussion, which was actually worse than the yelling. Take it from me - calculated responses delivered to a listening and attentive ear can be crippling.

Towards the end, my husband said that what he wants is simple. Don't tell him I'm going to do anything, and just do it, or don't do it, but don't tell him either way because he won't be expecting more than I can do. Do yourself the favor, he said.

It made no sense to me until today.