Reaching for the Stars in the New Year

Happy New Year!

Ahhh 2014, a new year, a new chance to start fresh and time to make plans and let your ambition soar! New years resolutions always make me think of “reaching for the stars” because they are like the wishlist tasks for the year that people aspire to fulfill. It made me think of the galaxy craze that has swept consumers for the past year. I haven’t braved a purchase yet, until recently.

I bought these cute constellation tights from Threadless.  Also, I got this awesome Dr. Who inspired tee since I have been recently catching up on seasons with Ten. I was curious what all the hub bub was about with this Doctor fellow, and I must say it’s pretty funny and entertaining despite it’s cheesy nature. 

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Figure 1a. Constellation tights from the Threadless website.

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Figure 1b.  An action shot! And you can see my teeshirt 

Threadless tights “Dot to Dot:” [Link]
Threadless tee “Of All Space & Time:” [Link]

Next, here is this sweeeet dress I found on Amazon that I am dying to order.

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Figure 2. Romwe “Mysterious Universe” dress.

Amazon dress: [Link]

Also, I would love to feature this somewhere in my apartment, but me thinks even my walls are getting to crowded. We shall see 🙂

There are tons of galaxy fashion tutorials online. If my list doesn’t inspire you, hopefully surfing Tumblr, Pinterest, and Etsy will do so!

Now what’s my resolutions for 2014? Here are a few:

  1. Get back to the gym grind and lose another 10lbs!
  2. Make plans to figure out how to obtain a Masters without being broke.
  3. Go through confidently with my dream to open an online shop without fear of rejection.
  4. Continue to find ways to improve and challenge myself 🙂

Hope you all have a great start to 2014!

Designer Fave: Jou-Jou

Happy September, y’all!

So a few weeks ago, I was fairly certain that summer was on it’s way out. When I was waking up in the early morning for work, my car was reading as low as 47 degrees F! I know that the weather is looking humid and hot for the holiday weekend, which is great, but I wanted to share a lovely find for the fall.

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Figure. I haven’t always liked leather jackets, but I have been craving for a caramel brown jacket for the longest time!

Meet my new Jou-Jou fall jacket! It’s made of “vegan leather.” I had no idea how exactly to define this, so I looked it up. According to The Gloss, vegan leather is a man-made material. Also, a random note: the article brings up a good point that just because it’s animal-friendly does not necessarily mean it’s environment-friendly.

I really like the aesthetic that Jou-Jou has! Their style has a very modern, futuristic vibe. Also, their jackets remind me of Neku’s outfit from Square Enix’s “The World Ends With You” (aka “TWEWY”).

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Figure. Main character: Neku! I think I unfortunately deleted my review on TWEWY on the Nintendo DS, but I am obsessed with this game.

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Figure. My other Jou-Jou jacket that  I bought back at the end of 2011. It’s made of a wool-like fabric with a hood that reminds me of a wolf. It also has a front zipper that is sewn askew, which I love.

My one complaint based on what I see in stores and online is that Jou-Jou seems to reuse that one jacket pattern in so many of their items. I understand wanting to make a trademark look, but I feel like there must be a way for their clothes to have have similar elements without using the same exact pattern. It can cheapen the feel of the jackets because they look almost cookie cutter-like instead of well thought out, individual designs.

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Figure. Some examples of Jou-Jou jackets. Their website: http://joujou.com/

All in all, I’m really happy with this particular purchase of just $36 from TJMaxx! It also has this beautiful golden lining on the inside, which I sadly forgot to photograph.

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Figure. Oh yes, I’m rocking that biker chick in PJ shorts trend. Hahaha.

I love fitted jackets because they focus on streamlining my top-side and good tailoring can make one look taller and longer. I can’t wait to wear this in the fall as the weather begins to cool down again.

My only regret is that my old Charlotte Russe boots are no longer with me. I think they would of looked awesome with this. What do you think?

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Figure. R.I.P. 2011, darling.

Digging the vegan leather trend? Check out fellow blogger Kristina Mirasol’s review on Express’s Minus the Leather jacket.

DIY Beauty: The Side Swept Bang & Flower Crown

As you can see, I’ve had a lot of time to do some projects I have always wanted to ever since moving. Though I miss my family, friends, and familiar places, I’m really enjoying myself making things, especially to personalize my new home.

This entry, however, is a two-for-one DIY devoted to beauty!

I had gotten a haircut yesterday that was okay, but I wished I had made an appointment else. The layers turned out fine, she also put in these odd bangs that awkwardly part in the middle where my natural part is.

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Figure 1. Me looks rather unhappy with my new haircut. Looks like it is in the awkward growing out phase after having blunt bangs.

The stylist said that my hair would not be able to do a bang properly, but I had to interally disagree since I have done it previously. When I got home I was feeling adventurous, I took task in my own hands to give myself a side swept bang.

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Figure 2a. and 2b. Risk rewarded! Side swept bangs achieved

Not bad considering my hair cut gave me a disadvantage! A part of my hair I sectioned off to do the bang was actually a half inch too short, but I proceeded anyway. I think after a few weeks of growing out a bit, I think I will really enjoy these bangs.

All thanks to this awesome hair tutorial from SecretLifeofaBioNerd. I’m thinking of checking out her hair layering tutorial in a few weeks, too, depending on how complicated it is.

Inspired by my new hair, I finally made this next DIY.

I have wanted to make a flower crown ever since Megan showed me the video by Charismastar and after I found a Threadbangers segment on flower crowns (both links are below at the end of this post).  I really wanted one made before the summer ended so I can feel like a princess haha.

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Figure 3. Some flower crown motivation: Thumbelina & Rapunzel from “Tangled.”

Materials:

To make a groovy crown adorned with angiosperms (trying to keep the science-y up in this blog, but failing hard) aka flowers, this is what you will need:

  • At least 2-4 varieties of fake/plastic flowers (Dollar Store or Craft store)
  • Wire (the thinner the size, the easier it is to bend and wrap)
  • Scissors
  • Wire cutters
  • Tape
  • Hot glue gun

Procedures:

First things first, it’s good to gather round your materials!

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Figure 4a and 4b. Craft supplies make me happy.

Next, pop off the flowers and leaves from the stems.

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Figure 5a. and 5b. Piles of pretty flowers and their respective leaves.

Go a head and take some of those stems and tape  to make a ring that can rest a top your head. I just used regular Scott tape, but would recommend something stickier like duck tape or floral tape. Remember to leave some wiggle room for the size of the crown.

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Figure 6a and 6b. The beginnings of a crown.

Use a hot glue to attach a stray leaf to a wire. Use that newly made leaf wire to wrap around your circle stem and reinforce it’s shape a bit. Make sure to wrap a good amount of wire tightly around the taped parts to secure it.

 

 

 

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Figure 7a and 7b. Wrapping along nicely. I made about 6 leaf wires for my crown.

Next, arrange your free flower pieces the way you want it on your crown. Make sure to snip off the little plastic bit on the back so that the flowers can lay flat (but don’t snip off too much or else the flower may fall a part!).

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Figure 8. Arrange, snip, and hot glue!

 

Fire up your glue gun and start gluing flowers to your crown. Use left over stray leaves to fill in blank spaces and for the inside of the crown to act as some cushion.

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Figure 9. TAAADAAAAA!!!

All done! I just want to throw on a flowy dress and run through a field or something. I think they are super cute and fun, although I don’t know how I would ever incorporate it to everyday fashion. I feel like it’s appropriate for a picnic or an outdoor music festival haha.

And of course, no project is complete without the source (or sources) of inspiration. I used a combo of these two YouTube videos to make my crown.

Enjoy and good luck!

JewelMint & the Disney Inspired Statement Necklace

Even though I love chunky and bright pieces for the types of clothes, jewelry, home decor, and anything I can get away with, I actually don’t like bib styled statement necklaces.  If you are unfamiliar with the concept of statement items, different types,  and some guidelines on how to wear them, here is a pretty good page on that: http://girlsguideto.com/articles/how-to-wear-statement-jewelry

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Figure 1. Some pretty examples of bib statement necklaces from Forever21, that I don’t particularly fancy for myself.

However, reach back to my Disney roots, I have always loved the way that Pocahontas and Jasmine from Aladdin have rocked their statement necklaces. If only I could find one that had the same vibe without looking like it was strangling me. Not all of us have lovely swan-like, slender necks.

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Figure 2. My inspiration to find a bib statement necklace. Yea, I got problems.

Then, I logged onto JewelMint ,that super cool website my sister introduced me to with high quality and unique pieces of jewelry. As if reading my mind they added this beautiful piece on my “Recommended Pieces for You” page.

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Figure 3. Everyone meet the lovely Chocolate Link Necklace. *swoon*

For $30, this piece was elegant, simple, and yet did not sacrifice the bold feeling of a statement necklace. The “links” provide some skin to peek through instead of being a solid piece of metal, making this necklace look less chunky and overwhelming on a short person like myself. I have been waiting for this beautiful Chocolate Link Necklace to go on sale for months, but I know JM doesn’t really do sales that often. I couldn’t justify  buying it at full price (especially since I really can’t wear jewelry at work).

Then, JewelMint had a wonderful 4th of July sale, and guess who got this pretty little thing for only $10, saving 20 bucks :)?

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Figure 4. Answer: THIS GURL. YAAAA!!!!

Mini review of this necklace: It is absolutely just as lovely in person as it looks on the website. It has a good weight so it does not feel cheap. I was a little worried about the “chocolate gold” color, but it’s really a very rich color. As for the length, it is the perfect size on me when it’s at it’s smallest setting. It hits my collarbones and doesn’t dip too low into my cleavage (a common problem I have with necklaces). My sister also pointed out it looks modern because of it’s geometric shapes!

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Figure 5. Close-up on the Chocolate Link Necklace so you can appreciate the color and piece alone!

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Figure 6. The JM description of this piece (just in case you want some dimensions or more convincing to buy it!). I concur 100%. Maybe I’ll get that matching bracelet next sale…

I am the happiest camper ever right now.

So just FYI, even though I loooooove JewelMint, this necklace is only the 3rd item I have bought from them (minus a disappointing “Mystery Gift Bag”) since signing up back in 2012. $30 is a bit much for me to spend more often on one thing periodically. Also I unfortunately lost my first purchase while attending a baseketball after work 😦 It was a beautiful a mother of pearl looking scarab bracelet, and was so devastated I did not order again from JM for the longest time.

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Figure 7a. The Soliel bracelet from JM.

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Figure 7b. My 1st JM purchase. RIP my darling scarab bracelet </3

I did buy this pretty Mon Amour bracelet last fall for less than $10 with free shipping!

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Figure 8a. Here is the Mon Amour bracelet from the JM website. Very striking, while keeping  a simple design.

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Figure 8b. My 2nd JM purchase! I have a tiny wrist so I secure the clasp with a small golden safety pin. Not losing another JM piece by mistake, again!

While JM usually has free shipping on all items, during their bigger sales they have a 2 item order minimum  to qualify for that free shipping. So, I made my first StyleMint purchase along with the Chocolate Link Necklace from JM! For only $5 (same cost of shipping and handling if I only bought my necklace), I got this Carnaby shirt in red.

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Figure 9a. SM Carnaby shirt from the website.

While the teeshirt looks lovely on the model, I am much shorter and chunkier, so I was worried about the fit. I got the largest size, a size 4, despite the fact that it maybe too long on me.

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Figure 9b. Me modelinggggg my new tee. It almost looks like a nightshirt here with shorts, but it’s really nice! Promise!

I was pleasantly surprised how lightweight and flowy this shirt is! It’s super comfy, and actually not too long at all. I think I will probably pair this with a pair of leggings or skinny jeans. It’s just a smidge too loose on me, but after one trip through the dryer, I think it will be perfect.

Okay enough splurging. I’ve been spending all dat money. Makin’ it raaaaiinnn… down the drain. Haha.

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Dove Real Beauty Sketches

A Forensic artist sketches women based on how women view themselves versus how other people see them. A really interesting social experiment that says a lot about how we perceive our own body image.

My reaction?

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All da feels.

Thanks to Megan for the vid.

Shoes of Function: New Kicks & Rain Boots

First, I would like to morn the death of my most favorite knee-high boots to have ever graced my feet. Unfortunately, I had worn out the soles of my darling boots at the end of 2012. It will take another excellent and cute pair of boots to fill the place of these and fit over my ridiculous calves. Instead, I bought TWO pairs of shoes to fill the void temporarily (which I will talk about in a bit).

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Figure 1. R.I.P. 12/2012 – I’ll miss you knee-high boots ❤

Now, I think it can be pretty much said that I am a casual person overall with respect to what I wear. I occasionally have the urge to attempt to dress up, however most of the time I tend to be rushing around so much and not as caring of my appearance. I like to assume I appear presentable looking most of the time, at least :P. My main concern is that what I wear is 1) comfortable, 2) functions well, 3) durable. Here are my recent two purchases that after a few months I have been using have proofed to be valuable investments.

1) Converse High-Tops 

I absolutely adore sneakers. They are my favorite types of shoes by far just because of the high levels of comfort and function. Plus, they can come in a ton of different colors and even patterns. I got my first pair of Converse sneakers back in 2010, but I wore the soles until they had holes everywhere within 2 years. I started 2013 quite literally on the right foot with this purchase!

Actually my parents were kind enough to give these as a late Christmas present, and I absolutely love them! Old school Batman with the Bat symbol across the laces! It’s kind of been a dream of mine, though slightly childish, to have comic book or video game inspired kicks, so I am absolutely thankful for these. Also, it was kind of awkward to wear my gym sneakers everywhere when my knee high boots died 😦 Skinny jeans + gym sneakers = strange combo on someone as short as me.

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Figure 2.1. My old, neon patterned, low cut, Chuck-Taylors. (Image source)
Figure 2.2.  My new, high cut, Batman infused Converses!
Figure 2.3. almost bought this pair of Joker sneakers instead, but decided not to. Cool pattern though. (Image source)

2) Sperry Top-Sider “Pelican Too” Rain Boots

I have had a bad past with previous rain boots before. The first pair I bought was from Century 21, and while the graffiti pattern was super cool, the boots were not the most comfortable. They cut into my skin even after I finally broke them in and, the inflexibility of the boot’s material lead them to tear very easily. As a result, they did NOT protect me from the rain at all. Fail, old rain boots!

Despite my less than savory experience, I still decided to buy a pair of Sperry Top-Sider boots from TJMaxx for $30 (a mere $10 more than my old pair) while visiting my sister in Virginia. I can definitely feel the difference in quality as in comparison to the previous pair of rain boots. The Sperry boots have cushioned on the inside sole, with a sturdy, thick outside sole, and lined with a soft and warm fleece on the inside throughout the entirety of the boot. No crazy-fun pattern was available for this boot, but I love the pop of color! The only thing I cannot figure out at the moment is how to secure the strap on the side, but that is probably me being dumb.

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Figure 3.1. My old, graffiti rain boots (cannot remember brand name; image source)
Figure 3.2. My shiny new Sperry boots (I forgot to photograph them before I left Philly but this is the same exact pair; image source)

These are my new shoe favorites! Do you have any shoe staples that you cannot live without?

Reshaping Your Eyebrows

I’m not sure if you can tell, but I’m catching up on some blog posts I have been meaning to write for a while now. I’m also catching up on regaining a normal physical appearance. I have been rather neglectful of my face, hair, and weight ever since midterms hit about 6 weeks ago. Rather than dwelling and being unhappy, I have decided to take the time to tackle the issue!

First thing that had to go were my unkempt eyebrows. Believe it or not, I had bushier eyebrows before high school. Then, I went to the salon to wax them when I was about 13 (wayyy too young). It’s amazing what a nice shape can do to open up your face! Sadly, I think I either overwaxed or overtweezed my brows, so they never regain their full length and fullness.

Still, I’m happy with how I was able to shape them yesterday. They are far from perfect (and since forever one of my eyebrows has been slightly more raised than the other), but I’m hoping that if I practice this new technique my eyebrows will look nicer in the future.

I used the following tools of the trade to reshape:

  • eyebrow brush
  • tweezers
  • scissors
  • eyebrow pencil to help me mark my arch
  • mini-shaving tool
  • compact mirror
  • a plastic card to provide a guide

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Figure 1. Before I reshaped my eyebrows. Excuse my puffy and red face. I lacked sleep and beauty maintenance for weeks! 

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Figure 2. After I reshaped my eyebrows with some YouTube help. Still puffy and red faced, but with tamed eyebrows.

Here are the videos that helped me most on my eyebrow reshaping tasking.

Video 1. Great for helping you decide how you want to plan out your eyebrow shape based on your face shape and size.

Video 2. I am in love with her eyebrows. Nothing else to be said.

Hopefully next time you see my face I will have gotten a real haircut and color and not look like a cave woman haha. Let me know if you have any thoughts or tips on eyebrow maintenance!