Fashion | New Romance

I love H&M. I got this warm, soft, beautiful blush sweater there and some dangly necklaces I can layer and tangle. ‘Fast fashion’ has a lot of critics but it’s lovely for me to be able to change my style often without emptying my bank account. And as always, the quality is what you pay for. I don’t make a secret of not being inclined to buy high fashion or even middle-brow brands (or whatever you call it!) and I love the affordability of places like H&M and Forever 21. This outfit is full of both.

I wore this to Eataly with my family for my sister’s birthday, and stuffed myself on gnocchi with a duck pate sauce and cremini mushrooms. God, I love Eataly. Luckily, the skirt stretched ;)
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skirt and boots from Forever 21 (both old), necklace and sweater from H&M

What I think about the ‘selfie stick’ |Okeyn product review

Honestly, the word ‘selfie’ makes me cringe. I think it’s stupid and cute and condescending. That said, I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with taking a picture of yourself and feeling confident enough (or maybe insecure enough?) to share it with the world. Taking a selfie can be a positive, empowering thing. It’s silly, but most fun things are silly.

So what about this whole ‘selfie stick’ phenomenon? The introduction of the topic among my sisters makes them both exclaim in disgust, but I think it’s pretty funny. True, it makes the whole ‘selfie’ phenomenon a lot more serious, and it’s kind of—really—incredibly—embarrassing to be seen holding one, but why? I think it’s this idea that we want to seem humble and like we don’t care what we look like. But if we do…is that such a bad thing?

Last Christmas I went to Bryant Park and saw a couple girls taking a photo of themselves with a selfie stick and I groaned inwardly. But then I thought about it: these girls are obviously tourists and they want to capture this moment, with the twinkling blue tree in the background. At best, the selfie stick makes it possible to capture vacation moments without having to track down strangers to take a picture of you, one that you’ll probably hate because they snapped it a second before you were ready, and it’s just way too dark.

The selfie stick—or ‘monopod’ for those thus inclined to call it by its proper name—is just something that makes taking a self-picture (my recourse to the word ‘selfie’) easier. At worst, it’s a stupid, embarrassing thing tweens use to be obnoxious in public and post daily selfies on Instagram (but is that even so terrible?). I quote a misguided Emma Woodhouse when she says: “Silly things do cease to be silly if they are done by sensible people in an impudent way.” It’s ironic, but I always thought there’s a grain of truth in there. Continue reading…

Love That Shift Dress | BooHoo Style

Lately, my dress preferences have shifted toward…shifts! I love flowy, swingy dresses with no silhouette, and when I got onto boohoo.com, I discovered my new online-shopping obsession. This website, which I discovered from other blogs, has such a plethora of beautiful shift dresses of all colors and styles. I picked only seven of my favorites and I’m hoping a few of them sell out before I have the chance to buy them all. Check ‘em out:

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My favorite is probably that baby pink/nude shift on the bottom left. Completely obsessed. I’m trying to figure out how to wear these for winter…probably with some patterned, sheer tights and chunky heels, and maybe a long cardigan to top it all off.

Which is your favorite and how would you style it?

10 Things I Learned About Myself When I Reread ‘Twilight’

Okay, so I have to acknowledge that I have/had a serious problem. In the beginning of January, I caught the first Twilight film on TV and my sister and I enjoyed a lovely half an hour trashing it, laughing hysterically at Robert Pattinson’s snarly acting and Kristen Stewart’s blue face and spastic blinking. If you’ve read this previous post of mine, you may remember that I really liked Twilight the books as a teenager and still carry a nostalgic fondness for them, despite the fact that the films—especially the first two—are laughably terrible. As I watched the movie and was faced with a marathon of them (again) I suddenly had this irrational desire to re-read the books. Oh, dear.

Twilight-coverThat night I reached into my least-used shelf (the one to which I relegate subpar reads I would still care to own) and dusted off the first Twilight. I devoured it in two days. The same happened to the sequels. Seriously, should I seek help? I decided to use the experience to figure out why the hell I liked it so much. Here’s what I learned about myself through this experience:

1. I tend to defend Bella as I’m reading, even though she has zero confidence and relies on men for her self-esteem. Okay, look. The girl drives me crazy. She bases her self-worth entirely on her looks and thinks she’s boring and normal and that no one could ever love her. She’s ridiculous, but I root for her because I want her to be proven wrong. Love yourself, girl! And please stop whining! I do think she has her good qualities, her selflessness among them, but the huge problem with reading about her is that she has no self-esteem. Literally none.

2. I’m a total sentimental sap and love the idea of this crazy, unconditional love. It’s irrational and somewhat disturbing that these two people are totally willing to kill themselves if they are ever faced with living without the other, but I’m a sucker for a love story and will always be. Continue reading…

Me & My Clarisonic

I’ve had acne-prone, problem skin for most of my life, so a couple weeks ago, I finally buckled to pressure and bought myself a Clarisonic Mia 2, hoping to be one of those success-story testimonials on the Clarisonic page that the company loves to turn into catchy blurbs. And since I have such sensitive, combination skin that frustrates me to within an inch of my sanity, I also bought myself the much gentler acne brush. I’m really excited to try out this method!

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So I’m going to monitor how my skin reacts to the Clarisonic, especially since I’m trying to avoid the infamous “purging period” that most Clarisonic users experience.

Here’s a “before” picture of my skin, red spots and blackheads included:

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Let’s see how well this works.

Does anyone have any Clarisonic stories to share?

John Green’s ‘Paper Towns’ Blew Me Away

I knew I loved The Fault In Our Stars but I don’t know, maybe I wasn’t expecting a repeat performance of anything so grand and eloquent. John Green, Maestro, I underestimated you.

Paper Towns is a work of poetic genius. Looking back at the story—which took me only a day to blow through, so enthralled was I—it has taken on the aura of a fairy tale or a story of magic, something unique, poignant, and triumphant. Green really knows how to write a book that feels like nothing else you’ve ever read before, with characters who are familiar and yet constantly surprise you.

The book’s plot is this: Quentin, “Q” for short, has been in love with his popular next-door neighbor Margo for most of his life. She’s adventure personified. Fearless, beautiful, unattainable, Margo Roth Speigelman is easy to love. Everyone loves her, everyone is in awe of her, but no one really knows her, a fact that becomes evident when she disappears.

Margo spends one night with Q executing a brilliant plan for revenge against the classmates that betrayed her, and Quentin once again falls in love with her adventurous, free spirit, but she doesn’t show up to school the next day. Margo has a history of running away from home and leaving clues hinting at her location, so Quentin is on a mission to find the puzzle pieces she left him which will lead to her, the girl of his dreams.

Literally.

The closer Quentin and his friends come to finding Margo, the less they realize they ever knew her. She’s an enigma. She hid so much of her personal struggle and her inner personality that Q is desperate to learn about the “real” Margo, the one that was hidden for so long.

At the core of this story is the idea that people fall in love with ideas more than with people. We reflect our own desires and fantasies onto someone else, without really seeing them for who they are. Quentin was in love with Margo for his whole life and held this conception of her that unraveled completely with the slightest inspection. This paragraph of the book encapsulates the idea much better than I could ever paraphrase:

“Maybe its like you said before, all of us being cracked open. Like each of us starts out as a watertight vessel. And then things happen—these people leave us, or don’t love us, or don’t get us, or we don’t get them, and we lose and fail and hurt one another. And the vessel starts to crack in places. And I mean, yeah once the vessel cracks open, the end becomes inevitable. Once it starts to rain inside the Osprey, it will never be remodeled. But there is all this time between when the cracks start to open up and when we finally fall apart. And its only that time that we see one another, because we see out of ourselves through our cracks and into others through theirs. When did we see each other face to face? Not until you saw into my cracks and I saw into yours. Before that we were just looking at ideas of each other, like looking at your window shade, but never seeing inside. But once the vessel cracks, the light can get in. The light can get out.” 

Quentin spends the entire story thinking he’s getting closer to finding the “real” Margo. This is as much a coming-of-age story as it is a mystery and a poem, because Quentin also comes to deal with his own insecurities: his anxiety, fear, and timidity among them. This story stresses the importance not only of getting to know others, but also of getting to know—and love—yourself.

Five Enthusiastic Stars.

Fashion | Winter Song

Winter white and my usual pop of color. I’m reverting back to a romantic style in my outfits that almost disappeared in the last year, but it’s always interesting to see how style changes over time, and especially when it changes back.

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kimono from Marshalls, necklace c/o Mondaynoon, boots from DSW