FBFF: Outfit Planning

This Friday, Katy of Modlychic has some questions about how we plan our outfits.

So on to outfit planning, or as I like to call it: “What am I wearing today?” or the various incarnations like “I don’t have anything to wear!” “Why is my closet empty?” and “I hate all my clothing.” (These are all direct quotes that have exited my mouth at one time or another.)

Planned vs Unplanned

1. How do you go about picking your outfit for the day? (Do you lay stuff out the night before? Do you plan a whole week’s worth of looks Sunday night? Do you wing it every morning?)

I tend to vacillate between planned outfits and spur-of-the-moment (aka “winging it”) outfits. I’ve found that the planned outfits almost always turn out better and I do have a little notebook of possible outfit combinations that I can flip through if I’m feeling particularly uninspired. However, I can’t always do planned outfits–sometimes the weather thwarts me or I’m just not feeling the combination I was the night before. Oftentimes, if I purchase a new item then I’ll have to immediately wear it–so I’ll skip my planned outfits and bump the new item ahead.

2. Do you try stuff on and then take pics to see how it looks, like Cher in Clueless?

Yes. I actually have outfit pictures that I’ve taken that will not ever be used because I ended up despising the outfit after taking a peek at the pictures. I’ve found that photographing an outfit you can really see whether or not it is actually working for you (oftentimes in ways you won’t if you’re just looking in a mirror).

3. And are you consistent in your planning or lack thereof, or is your planning limited to special events?

As mentioned above, I am horrendously inconsistent. I try to get at least one planned outfit in a week, but oftentimes I get obsessed with inspired by an item in my closet and just decide to work around that. Or I start running late and just throw on the items that are closest to me.

4. Do you have a way of keeping track of which outfits you wore when?

Not really. I probably should, but I have a pretty good memory so I try to just avoid wearing something I can remember wearing before. I’m probably going to have to start keep track of them eventually, but it’s a project that I haven’t undertaken yet (kind of like going back and tagging all my blog posts). That isn’t to say I don’t rewear the same outfits on days I don’t take pictures (of course I do!), because some outfits are just too good to wear only once.

5. How do you come up with new clothing combinations? (An app? Computer program? Trial and error?)

New clothing combinations are usually trial and error. Often I’ll be playing around with my closet and come up with something I like. I also will think about my wardrobe and write down different combinations I want to try. Oftentimes it’s just the base: top/bottoms and then I just add shoes/accessories on from there. I find that writing them down helps me remember the outfits later when I’m staring at my closet going “why don’t have anything to wear?”

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FBFF: Thinspo

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For Fashion Beauty Friend Friday, Katy Rose decided to have a look at a trend on Pinterest: thinspiration boards (thinspo for short). Some of these boards are fitness related, but obviously others aren’t.  She mentioned she would love to read everyone’s thoughts on these boards.

In college, I was a Women’s Studies minor, so topics like these are ones are my bread and butter! I could probably write a series of posts all about the problematic ways our society’s culture harms women (this being just one of them).  So here it goes:

Obviously, I am into fitness. I mean, last friday I wrote a post about how I changed my life through exercise just this year. I think fitness is important and that everyone should be getting regular exercise and eating healthy.

However, I do not think the aim of fitness should be becoming supermodel skinny. The bodies we see in magazines and on tv are not attainable by the majority of the population. I think it is something like only 2% of the people in the world can achieve that body. Genetics play a large part in how our bodies look–you cannot change your bone structure no matter how much you exercise.

Unfortunately, our culture strongly equates beauty with thinness. “You’d be so pretty if you just dropped a bit of weight” is something people have said to my friends, family, etc. This is engrained in us from a very young age– look at cartoons and Disney movies! The villain is oftentimes fat (check this nice comprehensive list). Of course Disney also has a whole host of other problems, but they do reflect our culture’s views.  Not only is it visible in cartoons, but also in Hollywood. The leading lady in almost every Hollywood movie is thin (and white and young), whereas men do not have the same requirements.

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Then there is the other end of the spectrum–where people point at a curvy actress or model and start to throw around words like “Curvy is so much prettier/better than the skinny!” Aside from the obviously problematic way that this involves shaming women who are skinny naturally, the truth is that oftentimes those super curvy bodies are just as unattainable. Most of the times the plus size images we see are woman who still have the basic hourglass shape. Two of the most popular plus sizes I’ve seen thrown about tend to be Christina Hendricks and Crystal Renn (Marilyn Monroe is another popular one)–obviously they are both beautiful curvy women but they do fit our societal standards of beauty. They both hold their weight in areas that tend to be desired (chest, butt) as opposed to areas (arms, stomach, etc) that tend to be viewed as bad by our society. All of the above listed women also have the desired hourglass shape.

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 Then there are ads like the one shown above. Ads that promote unhealthy foods while showing skinny women eating them. You’ve probably seen or heard people say things like “I hate it when girls order a salad, I want a girl that eats a burger” or something similar. Women who watch their weight are looked down upon. In our culture, we aren’t supposed to watch what we eat. We are supposed to be skinny without trying. 

Now, back to the main topic at hand: thinspiration boards.  These boards are holding up the body ideal that has been pushed onto women from our society and culture. Fitness is an admirable goal, however you cannot compare your body with someone else’s body. Different weights, heights, bone structures all mean that it is likely that your body will not look like that person’s. I do think there is a difference between pinning a set of six pack abs as inspirational as opposed to a dangerously skinny or anorexic person. I think there is a fine line between something that is inspiring and something that is damaging–and I’m not going to be the person to draw that line, because only the person with a thinspiration board will be able to say whether or not it is damaging to their psyche.

However, some additional information: thinspiration communities often house a lot of pro-anorexia thoughts (hopefully I don’t need to say just how dangerous and sad that is). Anorexia and thinspiration frequently do go hand in hand, which is another thing I find particularly worrisome with the thinspiration trend.

FBFF: Fitness

Today’s Fashion Beauty Friend Friday, hosted by the ever wonderful Katy Rose is on fitness.  She mentioned how the Boston Marathon is this Monday. While this race is THE race in the US, obviously we all have fitness goals we are working towards.

So what does fitness mean to me? You may remember the post I did awhile back about the Game On Diet.

Then (Feb 2011) vs Now (April 2012)

Over the course of my college years, I became more and more unhealthy. My eating habits were terrible, and exercise was pretty much non-existent (aside from walking to the bus stop). I gained around 15-20 lbs.

Once I moved away from Bellingham, I promised myself that this would change.  I did eat healthier, because I could afford it. However, I didn’t exercise.

For Christmas, I asked for a gym membership (which I got). And I began to work out–infrequently. When the Game On Diet happened in February, it gave me a kick start into my fitness goals.

Over the course of a month, I started to look forward to my daily 30 minute runs. Eating healthy wasn’t hard, and I enjoyed the structure of the meal plan. Portion control was so much easier when I measured based on my hand. I lose 8 lbs and had fun doing so.

left – August 2011, right – April 2012

When the diet ended, I kept working out. 3 day a week, I was getting my treadmill and running. I stayed on the meal plan. I kept the weight off, and kept losing weight. This month, I’ve just started the Game On Diet for the second time.

Of course, fitness doesn’t just mean weight loss. Ever since I’ve started exercising, I have felt better about myself. I know I’m taking care of my body, and giving it what it needs.  admit, I look forward to my daily runs. I love having the “me” time where I can use exercise as my therapy. I have more energy and my body feels like it is running so much more smoothly the more I keep it up.

Of course, It’s also nice to be able to fit back in those old clothes from high school. 🙂

FBFF: One-Time Use

This month’s Fashion Beauty Friend Friday is about the one-time use phenomenon. Katy Rose of Modly Chic talked about reading a number of posts lately about only wearing something once and how many bloggers are accused of this, so she decided to make it this month’s topic.

1. Are you a one-time wearer?

Nope. I can’t afford to be! Plus when you buy something you love, you definitely want to wear it more than once!

2. Do you feel the need to purchase something new for an evening out or a special event?

Not necessarily. It’s always nice to purchase a new dress or shoes or whatever, but I (honestly) have a ridiculous amount of formal dresses. A friend and I are planning to dress up in them (just for the heck of it) and go out to dinner sometime soon.

3. Re-mixing is something a lot of bloggers are proud of being able to accomplish – are you a re-mixing pro or do you shy away from posting items frequently? Why?

I don’t really call it re-mixing so much as being a normal person. Most people don’t have unlimited clothing items to wear, so they “re-mix” their wardrobe to come up with new outfits. I do tend to shy away from posting the same item too many items in a row though–I tend to get fixated on one item in my closet and re-mix the crap out of it before moving on to something else. I’m trying to avoid doing that, or at least posting those outfits farther apart.

4. Do you have a clothing budget or are you an impulse buyer?

I am a horrible horrible impulse buyer. I tend to shop on a whim and then just purchase something. I usually eye tons of things online, but always end up impulsively spending my money in stores.

5. Do you find yourself bored when reading a blog in which clothing items are often remixed and appear frequently?

No! I love blogs that remix items. If I have similar items in my closet, it always helps to see what they paired their cropped jacket with, so I can figure what to pair mine with!

FBFF: My Blogging Tools

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While following all the NYFW posts and tweets, Katy Rose of Modly Chic started thinking about the tools that bloggers use. Technology is something that frequently makes things so much easier for all of us, even if it can be a bit… difficult at times. 🙂

Without further ado, here are the questions for February’s Fashion Beauty Friend Friday:

1. What are the tools you use to blog?

I mostly use my Macbook (the love of my life!) and my little point and shoot camera. As far as programs, all my photos are uploaded to iPhoto and I only use a couple simple tweaks to fix the color. I use Twitter and Facebook to a small extent, too. Not as much as I want to (or should) however. Pinterest is also amazing–although it is a huge time waster!

2. What technology item is on your wish-list? 

On the top of my list is an iPhone. I’m just waiting for my next upgrade! I think it would be incredibly useful since twittering at your computer is kind of sad (at least to me). After that is a digital SLR, but that’s probably way farther off since they’re so expensive.

3. Through the barrage of posts, tweets, pics, poses, messages, etc… how do you avoid becoming a slave to the constant infiltration of information? 

Honestly, I’m kind of a slave to Facebook. I’m on there so often! However, I’ve been really working on curtailing my online hours. I only check my blogroll once a week, and I write most of my posts in the evenings. Part of the Game On! Diet that I’m doing has also involved cultivating a new habit and giving up a bad habit. The bad habit I chose to give up was Facebook after a certain time. So instead I’ve been spending that time on reading or other productive things that I want to be doing instead of spending so much time online. I think it’s a good thing for me!

Resolutions

You say you want a revolution resolution, and we all want to change the world our lives…

Silliness happens.

As it is, I’ve been thinking about New Year’s Resolutions since November. I’ve tried to start some of them early, but they’re still resolutions for next year.

Dear Self:

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1. Exercise at least 3 times a week. You’re a much happier person when you exercise, and you want (and need) to take some time to care for myself a little more. It’s part of the reason you started this blog, remember? You wanted to get up every day and feel better about yourself and what you wore.

2. Lose weight (and inches). Tone up. Feel better about yourself.

3. No longer consume: soda or store bought cookies. Avoid HFCS in everything. Eat better. When you eat better, you feel better. Also, stop craving hot dogs.

4. Find full-time work. Do not settle for working 4 part-time jobs. Don’t be disheartened and depressed if no one calls you for an interview, just keep looking. Keep your hopes up, you’ll find something eventually.

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5. Wear skirts (and dresses) more often. You own them. You put together outfits in your head involving your skirts and dresses. You just never put those outfits on. Start doing it! (Why do you feel like putting on a skirt takes more effort than jeans?)

6. Date around. Do not settle. Enjoy being single.

7. Wash your face every single night! Stop forgetting!

8. Save money for those trips to Europe you’ve always wanted. A little bit every month.

9. Get out of the house more. Stop being a recluse. Meet people. You suck at this, work on improving.

10. As an addendum to the above (#9), hang out with your friends more. Make time for them. Stop being a recluse!

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11. Read. Purchase books more often. Spend less time on the internet. Read the books on your list.

12. Finish one of your novels that you’ve started. Even if it kills you. You need to stop starting new ones without finishing the previous ones.

13. Pay off your student loans. Completely.

14. Learn how to read patterns. You have all the materials to crochet things. Oh, and learn more than one stitch. That would probably help.

15. Become more organized. You desperately need to. And stop throwing your clothes on the floor in the evenings–you just have to pick them up again later.

16. Visit the Seattle Aquarium. You’ve been wanting to forever! Completed! 

This Fashion Beauty Friend Friday, the lovely Katy Rose of Modly Chic has asked us about our New Year’s Resolutions. See everyone else’s here

FBFF: Christmas Survey

This week’s Fashion Beauty Friend Friday is hosted by Katy Rose of ModlyChic. We’ve got a simple Christmas survey to fill out. Here are my answers below…

My sisters and I at Thanksgiving

No holiday party is complete without: beautiful decorations, laughter, and delicious holiday cookies.

My favorite Christmas song/album: I love both Hark! The Herald Angels Sing and Angels We Have Heard on High.

My favorite seasonal recipe: Candy Cane Cookies! I love them. I confess that sometimes i make them year-round.

The perfect New Year’s Eve outfit includes: a dress that fits well and makes me feel beautiful.

At the parties, I’ll be drinking: alcohol, hopefully. Oh, am I not supposed to say that? I meant whatever they offer.

KK & Stevie, Me, Christine & Webster

Eggnog, good or bad?: um, I’ve actually never had it.

Did you ever take pictures on Santa’s lap at the mall?: Yes! who didn’t as a kid?

Gingerbread Latte or Peppermint Mocha: Mmm, peppermint mocha.

Worst gift I ever got: Er, I don’t know?

Best gift I ever received: Hmm, I don’t know if it was the best but it is the one that I most remember. When we were in Hawaii for Christmas, I received an iPod with music I liked already loaded on it. It really beat hauling my CD player to the pool.

You those wedding photos where the groomsmen are carrying the bride? Yeah, we tried.

My family has this weird tradition: Of waking up super early to open our stockings. It’s only okay to open stockings before the parents are awake. We have to wait for Dad to wake up to open any of the other gifts.

My best bargain find for a gift this year: I can’t say! However, I can say that I probably only paid a couple dollars for the item(s) in question.

If I could only buy all my gifts from one place, I’d shop at: Amazon.com. Hopefully that’s not a cop-out, since they seriously have everything.

Rudolph the Red-nose Reindeer or Frosty the Snowman: Rudolph, obvs. He was the unpopular kid, which I can totally relate to.

My favorite holiday memory: I think opening stockings on Christmas morning. Also, the year when my sister and I vowed to stay up all night for Santa and then fell asleep in the playroom overlooking the living room (I couldn’t have been the only one who tried to stay up and see Santa…).

My favorite Christmas movie: I actually don’t watch Christmas movies, I’m not really big on them! As much as I love Christmas, the movies aren’t really in my interest zone.

The best part about holiday decorations is: how cheerful and utterly happy they make you feel every time you see them.

Rip off the wrapping paper or neatly pull off the tape: When I was younger, I used to rip it off. Now, I’m not a perfectionist by any means, but I’m much neater now (but not neat enough to pull off the tape).

Miracle on 34th Street or It’s a Wonderful Life: … I’ve mentioned that I don’t watch holiday movies, right? I think I’ve probably seen each of these once, when I was like eight.

It doesn’t feel like the holiday season until: The decorations are up. Of course, ours have been up since Black Friday. Haha. I’ve got a Christmas obsessed family.

All I want for Christmas is: you! Sorry, I can’t resist. All I really want is to spend time with my family, especially my little sisters. 🙂

FBFF: Holiday Wishlist

For this week’s Fashion Beauty Friend Friday, Katy Rose of Modly Chic wants to know what is on our holiday wish-list this year.

You may remember my previous fall wish-list (here), and I’ve actually managed to complete the majority of that wish-list. Recently I created another wish-list, the majority of which got completely filled (I managed to tick of corduroys, khakis, and the plaid jacket) on Black Friday.

So what have I been coveting recently?

Holiday Wishlist Part 1

1. Jeffrey Campbell Lita and Jeffery Campbell Nightwalk 

There was a time when I wouldn’t bat an eyelash over dropping $100 on shoes. However, that was a long time ago. I’ve gotten wary about purchases over $100, because I’ve become a cheapskate. However, I love the look of both the Lita and the Nightwalk. I keep telling myself when I save up the money I’ll buy a pair, but I keep forgetting and spending a little bit here and a little bit there…

2. Amrita Singh Jewelry 

If anyone makes a statement piece, it’s Amrita Singh. I need more statement pieces in my collection, and I love the majority of her jewelry which is all so gorgeous.

3. Classic Trench Coat 

This is the one item I have such difficulty hunting down. It’s hard to find a good trench coat, especially one that I find aesthetically pleasing (and in my price range). The one pictured? I love it! Problem: it’s Burberry, and therefore out of my price range.

4. Yellow Scarf 

I’m obsessed with yellow. It’s almost tragic that I don’t have a yellow scarf already.

5. Cardigans

My cardigan collection is a bit woeful. I’d love a couple adorable (long-sleeved) cardigans to round out my wardrobe, especially since some of my favorites have started to look a little bit worn…

Holiday Wishlist Part 2

6. Black Boots 

I need a pair I can walk in that will work for winter. I’ve got my cognac pair, but I’d like to add to my miniscule boot collection. Plus, black is just so versatile.

7. Grey Leopard Print

I lack in the animal print department. I tend to find a lot of it very… displeasing to the eye if it’s not done properly. I love grey leopard print though. I’d prefer it in a pair of jeans or a scarf.

8. Colored and Patterned Tights 

I own tights in blue, black, white, pink, and purple. I’d like to add some other colors in there. A red, yellow, green, and maybe some orange? Patterns (like polka dots) would not be amiss either!

9. Nail polish  

I do my nails at least once a week. I’m always adding to my polish collection! I’d love to have more than just black and white stamping polishes. A splurge in the nail polish area might not be a bad idea either.

Lastly, these have been in my “saved” area of my Amazon.com cart for awhile. Hopefully I’ll pick them up sometime in the next year or so…

Films:

10. Harry Potter: The Complete 8-Film Collection

11. Memento

Books:

12. Style Yourself

13. Fashion 2.0: Blogging Your Way to The Front Row

14. You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up: A Love Story

15. The Sociopath Next Door

 

Visual FBFF: Makeup Free

This week, Franca from Oranges and Apples is hosting a visual Fashion Beauty Friend Friday. She asked to see us all with out any makeup on, so without further ado here are my makeup free pics.

This is straight out of the shower after blow drying my hair.

As an inherently lazy soul, I don’t usually wear a lot of makeup. However, I almost always wear foundation. I started wearing foundation when I was 15 years old to cover up my bad skin (and trust me when I say I had bad skin!). I still use the same foundation I used back when I was 15, actually (I suppose that’s proof that I’m just as pale as ever).  Although, my skin has calmed down a little since then.

However, my skin still breaks out very easily. I have had a tough time getting it under control. Thankfully I found my “miracle” products, so my skin is under control as long as I remember to use said product.

I tend to see my relationship with makeup as a really fun and colorful accessory. Most days I’m lazy and just do the standard foundation, blush, mascara. However, when I’m in the mood I’ll go all out. I tend to play up my eyes so I own tons of eyeshadows in all different shades and I’m obsessed with eyeliner. I’ve recently started trying out different lip colors here and there, but I’m a little more cautious.

I enjoy playing with makeup, but I feel fine without it. I can (and do!) feel beautiful with or without it on.

FBFF: Five Favorite Books

Since November is National Novel Writing Month, Katy Rose of Modly Chic decided for this week’s Fashion Beauty Friend Friday we should list off our five favorite novels. Obviously, this will be a walk in the park for me. As you know, I absolutely love reading.

So without further ado, my favorite novels (in no particular order):

1) Lolita by Vladmir Nabokov

Obviously this novel is controversial. But honestly? It’s one of the best books I have read in my entire life. The language that Nabokov uses is impeccable. I’ve actually memorized large chunks of the book, and whenever I’m in the mood to really feel something I read it. I should mention that I live for tragedies. If you have not read this, or have put it off… Read it. Now.

2) House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

“This is not for you.” These are the words that begin House of Leaves, and it really only gets better from there. I have never read anything else like this in my entire life. The way Danielewski uses text to convey meaning… I have never seen it before, nor will I probably see it again. To give a brief run down of the novel, it’s a story about a man named Johnny Truant who has found a manuscript written by a blind man about a documentary that doesn’t exist. Johnny goes through the manuscript and writes down his story within the footnotes. Trust me when I say you have to pick it up for yourself.

3) Metamorphoses by Ovid

I’ve always loved Greek and Roman mythology, and Ovid tells the stories particularly well. He has a wonderfully poetic grasp of language, and recounts over 70 stories of Greek and Roman mythology. I’ve actually written up a review of this novel which you can find here.

4) A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

I love love love books where the characters are so utterly sneaky, cunning, and have multiple motivations that make them difficult to figure out. This book is one of those kinds of books. With many different characters (fifty or more!) running around, and each one with their own way of gaining favor with the crown this is a series you won’t put down for a second. Plus, it’s absolutely hilarious. I’m always thinking about the series and how each character is playing the game and whether or not character X, Y, or Z will get out of the pickle they might be in at the moment. A character can be killed off at any moment (and he’s not afraid to kill off main characters), which I absolutely love because it’s difficult to anticipate anything in the series. I’ve also reviewed this book here.

5) War for the Oaks by Emma Bull

Who doesn’t love a good urban fantasy? The descriptions in this novel are to die for, and she paints a beautiful picture of the city the story takes place in. There’s also a hearty does of music and Fae. I re-read this book at least once a year, and it still contains the most accurate description of love I have ever come across. I’ve previously reviewed this book, you can read it here.

 

And because I can’t stop at just five books…

 

Honorable Mention: Garth Nix’s Sabriel, Lirael, and Abhorsen

 

Honorable Mention: Tamora Pierce’s Tortall series

This includes The Song of the Lioness quartet (including Alanna: The First Adventure; In the Hand of the Goddess; The Woman Who Rides Like a Man; and Lioness Rampant), The Immortals quartet (including Wild Magic; Wolf-Speaker; Emperor Mage; and The Realms of the Gods), The Protector of the Small quartet (containing First Test; Page; Squire; and Lady Knight) and the Trickster series (containing Trickster’s Choice and Trickster’s Queen).

 

Notice how I managed to fit 20+ books in what was suppose to be a listing of my five favorites? Trust me, this happens all the time.

Anyways, I participated in NaNoWriMo last year, and was really disappointed when life got in the way and I did not finish my novel. This year, I decided to participate for the second time (and I’ve already got writer’s block. Argh!). Is anyone else participating?