20141031

GET ME DRESSED / AW CAPSULE 01


Armed with nothing but a self timer app and no sense of personal shame I bring unto you: AW CAPSULE! The musical! 

I hate to take this all that seriously, but this capsule business has been a time of discovery! Personal growth! Perfectionist tendencies! Side note: My mom is a perfectionist. I am not a perfectionist. One time in college my mom said, "I wish I were more like you, and could have been happy with just average grades . . . " and I laughed and totally took it as a compliment, because in college I was happy with "just average" grades. B+ let's party! Except now that I'm in my thirties it turns out . . . I am a perfectionist. Some of the time. That's what I'm learning. Have I been one all along and I just never noticed it? (My husband would say yes.) Do you have to want to be perfect in all the things in order to be considered a perfectionist? Or is it possible to be a happily imperfect perfectionist most of the time? Thanks to this capsule I've become aware of how frequently I hone in + ponder on the dumbest details. Like how these jeans don't fit in the knees the way I want them to, and whether or not I intend to do anything about it. 

(PS - So, fully half of these shots came out entirely out of focus. I'm using them anyway. Highest standards in the business! ;)


Here is what has been working: I've been wearing these loafers far more often than I used to, which makes me very happy. I knew I was a penny loafer girl, I just wasn't in the habit of being a penny loafer girl. And now, I am! Not to be dumb or whatever but I feel this has added a lot to my personal sense of self, as well as to my level of life satisfaction in general. ;)

I've also discovered THE invisible sock of our lifetime, and if for nothing else, that alone has been worth the whole kitchen. 


Here is what has not been working: Of my 40 items I'm really only utilizing about 25. All of the shoes, most of the denim, just a handful of tops and sweaters. Even with just a few out-of-the-ordinary items to choose from, I still have too many out-of-the-ordinary items to choose from.  Every morning I approach my wardrobe hoping to try to make those out-of-the-ordinary items happen. But, since it feels too fussy or whatever, I inevitably sigh and say Pass the striped shirt, please.  I've been wondering if "mini capsules" might be an even more fun/helpful/pointless challenge than just one "capsule." Divided out somewhere, maybe Ordinary/Special/Fancy? A special "Fancy" wardrobe is a smart idea, anyway: A little black dress, a killer pair of heels . . . things that can be tucked away in a hard to reach spot because you'll always remember they're there when you need them. How many "Fancy" items would you need in that case? Under 5 I'd imagine. But then there's the  idea of "Special" that's harder for me to account for. A blouse that's a little too much for a Tuesday, for example, but perfect for a date night or a business meeting. Are most people more functional in their brains than I am and can work those pieces in with the rest of their wardrobes on a consistent basis? Or am I the only one that feels intimidated by a slightly dressier cut?  


Here is what I am learning: I really enjoy switching up my shoes and my jackets. The rest I like to be more or less consistently exactly the same. Having too many options for the rest of it is super stressful you guys ;). I guess I like to look ordinary. I'm working on this, to see if more variety could turn out to be more fun or not. I feel like when it comes to getting dressed, habit plays into it more than anything. More than personal style, more than fashion trends, more than fancy or not fancy, more than any of it. I'm in the habit of reaching for certain things that I know will look + feel good on me. Because I'm experienced with them. Even though everything I own looks + feels good on me, otherwise I wouldn't have kept it when I drastically edited down my wardrobe over the summer. But because I'm not in the habit of wearing the more special items, it feels complicated to wear the special items. It feels out-of-the-ordinary only because it IS out of the ordinary. And until I make it ordinary, then it isn't going to be ordinary, and so on. 

Wow. Have I just blown your mind or are you thinking I could use a straight jacket in my Capsule next time around? ;)


Anyway, the end. :)

Jacket: eBay
Tee: Madewell (on sale!)
Bra: (hah!) Madewell (also on sale!)
Jeans: Madewell
Loafers: Bass
Bracelets: Littionary
Lipstick: Chanel

20141030

AROUND HERE


Hey, Happy Halloweeners! You guys ready? We are not ready. We are having a last minute ninja crisis, wavering from Pink Power to Teenage Mutant and back again and there are precisely zero ninja bits that work for both. It's all very existential. It reminds me of my nightly "I have to cut my bangs right noww---no I don't! Don't do it!" train of thought. (It is almost November.)

In case you're living somewhere non-leafy, here. I got this for you.


☝︎ Park Slope farmer's market! Which we only just discovered this last weekend. I might have jumped up and down in place a bit.


☝︎ Living near Green Wood Cemetery has some deeeeeeeefinite Halloweeny perks. 


☝︎ Huck + I are kitchen MACHINES this fall. Breads, cookies, pretzels, smoothies, that poor kitchen is realizing the extent of its neglect, feeling the love for the first time since August. (Don't get used to it, sister!) Lately the itch has set in for a big pot of soup simmering on the stove. I tacked on a few extras to our usual Fresh Direct order the other day and now have four little yams smiling up at me every time I go in for a glass of water. They're terribly friendly. "Soon," I tell them. Soon. I'm gonna roast those suckers so hard.


☝︎"Fuhst it's my birfday, and deeeeen it's Halloween!" Huck likes to remind me. Halloween is THE preferred topic around our house these days. I've always loved Halloween. Jack o lanterns and caramel apples and bonfires and hayrides and spooky stories. While running errands aaaaaall over town last week, Huck happened to spot a pair of glow-in-the-dark vampire teeth in a shop window we walked past. It was LOVE. It was all he could talk about. I told him we could go back and find it at the end of the afternoon, and then we both forgot. That night when Huck realized, he was crushed. Sobbing On The Bed crushed. (Dude, aren't four-year-olds the most fantastic emotional creatures?) I felt pretty bad about it--how many times do I use the "maybe later" excuse and then never follow through? So the next afternoon while Huck was at school, I hopped on my bike and retraced our steps, searching practically the entire borough for those vampire teeth (where were we at the time??) (no they have to be glow-in-the-dark vampire teeth) before finally finding them. Two hours and 99 cents later, I stuffed one in my mouth and another in my pocket when it was time for pick up. Huck spotted me through all the parents and I waved slyly and gave him a slow little smile, and oh man. The look on his face when he saw my mouth full of fangs, that was IT. 

SIDE NOTE TO YOU, HALLOWEEN: Halloween you have gotten WAY too gory lately you are ON NOTICE. There are whole blocks we straight up avoid thanks to brownstone decorations that terrify Huck. Last night at the CVS Huck stood frozen in the doorway staring at this six-foot shrouded creature wearing graveyard rags with a scythe in one hand and flesh dripping from the other--he literally could not move--and three days ago in a thrift store Huck started sobbing because "scary man pictures" were staring at him. Thrift stores and the CVS! What does the element of terror add to these shopping experiences!? Each time I had Huck shut his eyes tight while I navigated him through the store until we had everything we needed. Will Brooklyn be paying his therapy bills. This is what I would like to know. Come on. Whatever happened to jolly Halloween decorations? Plastic spiders and sheet ghosts and pumpkins and shit? I'm just not thrilled with you, Halloween. SPOOKY. NOT HORRIFYING. Get it together. Preserve the original spirit of Halloween! Let's call Fox News! Huck is still wrapping his head around the idea of zombies. He's fascinated with them in that way that kids are fascinated with things that really frighten them. Of all the Halloween creatures, doesn't it seem like the zombie might be the most disturbing to explain? Frankenstein's monster is easy enough, and werewolves, none of that really seems plausible or likely. But dead people who want to eat my baby's brain? There's just no good way to go about that one. We're working on keeping the innocent spirit of Halloween alive. It's an uphill battle. 

(I've felt this way for a while, but after the nanny stabbings in my hood a few years ago . . .  that pretty much did it.*** Halloween and I have a lot of making up to do. You could start with flowers.)

***By which I mean: the gorification of Halloween had always bothered me vaguely, but it wasn't until that horrible event that I saw with startling clarity just how callous and inappropriate all these blood-and-gore decorations are. These are actual, horrible things that happen and devastate families, not something fun that could be made light of with plastic body parts on lawns and horror slasher movies. It's just completely sick. The event didn't ruin Halloween for me. Halloween ruined Halloween for me. So sorry my wording wasn't clear.***

(It reminds me of the millions of haunted mazes and halloween houses that popped up in Utah during the season when I was at BYU. They were straight up hellish, I've never seen anything so bizarre as Utah at Halloween, and thank you I never need to pay money be chased by a guy with a chainsaw.) AAAAAAAANYWAY.


☝︎ Huck's birthday! We had a little party over the weekend and it was a huge success. All his friends from school were there, there was a piñata, more on this later. :)


☝︎ Three days a week I take off my Mom hat for a few hours to focus on my Writer hat. On Huck's days at school I've been packing up my laptop and taking my show on the road, trying out new wifi cafés and coffee shops, taking calls and meeting with other creatives and brainstorming fun new projects. It's been silly fun. What a weird world that this funny little hobby has turned into such a fun slice of my life. It feels like playing, and ironically, having dedicated time for this has helped me take things far less seriously.

I love that Brooklyn to Downtown is such an easy subway ride. I've been spending as much time down there as I can, it's such a neat vibe. The other day I finally made it to The Butcher's Daughter.


Just me, myself, a book, and avocado toast. Anytime there's avocado toast involved, forget it. I'm in love with avocado toast and I don't care who knows it! 

In between book work and blog work and life work, I've been trying to read more. Mostly this happens between 11PM and 1AM in the bathtub, but sometimes if I'm a good girl and answer all my emails I'll take a book break in the afternoons. I recently ordered a stack of inexpensive paperbacks of all the spookiest classics I could think of -- The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, a book of Edgar Allan Poe, some Dracula + Wuthering Heights. I've been tearing through them at night in the bath or on sunny afternoons when Huck is running around at the playground or when I'm trapped under the East River on a slow-moving R. (I've also been reading Yes, Please, which is pretty much perfect, and Not That Kind of Girl, which we're discussing at book club this month (I'm hosting!) which is less perfect. I really can't WAIT to discuss it with someone. Thoughts! So many thoughts!) My next assignment will be to actually read all the books we "read" in high school, because, you know. I've already got a few under my belt. The Stranger is way better when you're not 16. Lolita--still not my favorite. Oh well. 


Brandon sometimes says, "You're a writer! Consider walking around looking for inspiration your job, and do it on purpose!" So that is what I've been doing! I try to take myself out once a week on an Introvert Wander (I call it), wondering what I should do as my next non-blog writing project (more essays? fiction?), and going into dangerous places, like this place, where I have to talk myself out of antique stuffed bears, because nobody needs an antique stuffed bear. ;)


SoHo is as good a place as any for some real productive daydreaming. :)


Sigh. 

I'm hoping to get through the photos from Huck's birthday party soon, and then to finish Huck's birthday essay that I've been tinkering with for the last little bit. Until then, enjoy your 'Weens, and happy trick-or-treating!

xo

20141028

THE NEW NINETIES


So, the 90s are back.
According to the fashion industry, if you can believe such people.

Yes.


This 


Is 


All


Back


In


Fashion


Can


You


Believe


This?


No,


 Neither


Can


I.

Okay okay okay. Story time. Our last neighborhood was basically the campus of three well-known NYC high schools. (Aside: if you think you can come up with anything more blissfully humbling than Manhattan teenagers . . .  well, I dare you. :) AMDA, Beacon, and LaGuardia (the Fame school!). These are some of the best, toughest schools to get into, and these AMDA, Beacon, and LaGuardia kids are freaks. Sophisticated and so damn poised (which is a little freaky to see at such a young age), and so talented, and so so smart. With really amazing hair. If you were to ask me the best part of living behind Lincoln Center for three years, it'd be the times I'd walk around during lunch and in the afternoons, when students would be milling about on my sidewalks, providing me with a free time machine fashion show. Leggings, combat boots, over-sized knits and soft plaid flannels, dark mauve lipstick, baby doll dresses, natural faces and fluffy hair. . . chokers . . .  floral prints . . . Jansports slung over one shoulder . . . sound familiar?

I, for one, am completely into it.

I do remember hearing once that if you followed a trend the first time around, you shouldn't follow the trend the second time it comes around. Obviously I've decided that's junk. Personally I think it's all in how you do it the second round that counts. Which is to say, pretty much the opposite of how you did it the first time.

Par exemple: Here are a few of the 90s trends I did once that I definitely will not be doing ever again
(High School Natalie alert you have been warned!!):


The 90s Eyebrows

I plucked those suckers to within an inch of their lives, and that was a baaaaaad idea. It took years to get them back to normal.
Denim jackets and gold hoop earrings, though . . . yes.


Capris?
No thank you to the capris, and no thank you to those fantastically weird cropped boxy high-necked tank tops, either. But, I don't know. Your mileage may vary.

A bad attitude, obviously, is still in play. Anyway I haven't seemed to shake it off yet, so it better be.

(I basically have this exact hair cut right this minute. Humbling.)


And thank you I will definitely be passing on round two of the braces and overall ennui of being 15.
(I kind of want to give her a hug. She was doing just great.)

But here are some of the 90s trends I missed the first time around that I am ALL IN for:


Oversized hair that hasn't seen a heat tool in months.


Oversized knits, the scratchier the better.


Oversized light wash denim. MOM JEANS. I'M IN.


Flaaaaaaaannelllllllllll!


 And grunge, grunge, grungey-grunge grunge.


And really dark lipstick.

We're really in luck, because this time around our wardrobe options seem far, far more sophisticated:

*BONUS: All profits from sales of the earrings featured goes directly to artisan women in Rwanda, providing much-needed literacy, business training and financial management programs to support female entrepreneurship. -source

THOSE SANDALS!!

There's really no sense in fighting this; whether or not you mean to the 90s are bound to happen to you again. Chances are, like me, you've been doing them all this time and the only difference now is that you're cool again! And congratulations to all of us on that. ;)

And so in closing, I present unto you the most underrated 90s icon of all time:


JOEYYYYY.

See you around! I hope not sporadically! ;)

This post was sponsored by ACCOMPANY