Tag Archives: modcloth

16-08-02-01

Dress: 3 Generation Curation | Tights: Target | Earrings: Six Clothing | Shoes: Modcloth

Two week later- finally sharing these photos. It has been a pretty long time since I’ve done a fashion post- and it probably has been because I have gotten a little lazy with my clothing choices. Or it might be because I haven’t expanded my closet much. Sure readers haven’t seen most of my clothing, but it seems less interesting to share something if I’ve worn it 30+ times.

But I’ve noticed there is very little posted on fashion blogs about maternity clothing. Probably because 1) You only look pregnant for a few short months. And 2) Pregnancy clothes are a little…. uh…. meh. Don’t get me wrong there are some super cute things out there, but modern pregnancy clothing is both vastly better and worse than older styles. The tent dress definitely suffered over the years.

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I LOVE Rosemary’s Baby, especially the fashion. Rosemary wore pretty much nothing much swing or tent dresses, and they were so cute. I figured I would stock up on them and be fine for the rest of my pregnancy. Turns out no one really makes them. And when they do- they kind of miss some key points. Like the dress I bought recently from Maternal America. Sure it looks cute, but the darts, just don’t seem right.

So what makes an awesome tent dress? Well, in my opinion you need a cute statement at the neck line. It could be a cute peter pan collar, or in my case a big bow. The next tip are pleating the front of the dress. It gives a little room for expanding tummy, and you can even get an accordion fold going to make a bigger statement. And then my next tip, which is debatable- go bright. I think since there isn’t many pieces to the pattern you can really flaunt a bold pattern. Heck, Rosemary did it! In pigtails even!

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I got this dress from Etsy and I am VERY happy with it. I only paid $35 with shipping and the quality is great. I see no wears or tears, and it does look like this an actual maternity dress. I even risked it all and washed it in the machine and I am wondering if the dress was brand spanking new because it shrunk just a little bit. But I actually prefer the new fit, so it all worked out perfectly in the end.

Alexa took these cute photos while we were walking around Asbury Park. They have some great murals on the boardwalk that really make the dress pop. And for the record- no I don’t actually wear tights during the summer. It just happen to be fairly cool that day (in the 70s) and I thought I could wear tights. Plus it meant wearing cute shoes that looked nice with the dress.


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Alexa is working toward a vegetarian diet, and is loaded with questions. Jennifer’s got answers. We talk about anything as long as it is vegan. Are tattoos vegan? How do I politely not eat Thanksgiving dinner? How do I order without pissing off the waitress? We know you are dying to ask!

asksalexaWhen going vegan everyone focuses on food, but what about clothes? How can I tell shoes are vegan? And where do I get them?

There are lots of vegan shoes out there, but it can be a little hard to find. Sure if you type in “vegan shoes” in google you get a bunch of stuff. There are stores that specialize in vegan shoes like Moo Shoes (which has a brick and mortar store in New York City and Los Angeles) but they can be pretty expensive. There are other all vegan shoe stores like Lookie Lou, Vegan Chic, and Alternative Outfitters. Some companies have vegan shoe tags like Modcloth, Zappos, and Lulus. But I’ve found sometimes these searches aren’t the greatest. For example if I went to DSW and search “vegan” I get a few hits. But truthfully there are MORE shoes available. So why the low results? Because they are basically showing only brands the identify the faux leather as VEGAN faux leather. 

So how can you tell what your shoe is made out of? Well, luckily it is all in the tag. Do yourself a favor and grab a shoe from your closet (hopefully not too old that the label is worn down) There are several different ways shoes have their materials listed. They sometimes have a chart, sometimes they have a small note, sometimes it is on a sticker, or printed on the inside of the shoe. Just keep looking around. 

The shoe should have materials listed for upper material (this is what you see on the outside of the shoe), lining/inner (you know, the stuff your feet touches), and outer sole. Some shoes will have these graphic charts. It will have these images, and whatever is next to upper shoe icon will be the material they use. 

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So for example I grabbed an old pair (pre-vgan days) of shoes from my closet (it’s this pair if you are wondering). I flipped the shoe over and on the sole there was a sticker that looked like this: (synthetic outside, leather inside, synthetic sole)

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So not vegan, but only the inside isn’t vegan, which is actually very common. The problem with these icons is that they are vague. For example, they have “textile” but it doesn’t need to specify what the material is. So you could picking up a pair of shoes that have a fabric that is made from silk or wool. Some people even have found that the icons don’t match up with information on the box, or catalogue. There is also the chance the glue isn’t vegan, and it is pretty much near impossible to find any confirmation about the glue source. So it is always a good idea to check the box the shoe comes in to see if there is any additional information.

Truthfully I am loving Target’s website as they do a great job listing the materials in their shoes. It is nice to be able to look around and read the materials before heading out to the store. In general I find that vegan shoes are usually super expensive or super cheap. Why? Well, leather is a little expensive, and is actually desired by most people. So most shoes want to have it. Most cheap shoes are cheap because of the lack of leather. The downside is that this can be bad for the environment and be made in sweatshops. Some of the more expensive vegan shoe brands are trying to have better quality and better working conditions for the workers.

How do you guys buy vegan shoes? Any favorite sites or store to shop at?


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Hey guys. This week has been a lot less productive than I had hoped for. Part of the problem is you know everyday life. Whomp whomp. Then there is also this weird internet. It is find in the morning, then at night it disconnects every five seconds. Arg! It stinks but there are worse things that can happen in life. 

So I just want to point out how cute Alexa looks right now. She had a wedding coming up, and being thrifty me I was all like “NO DON’T BUY A NEW DRESS BORROW ONE OF MINE!” I LOVE this dress. I got it on sale from Ruche, it was originally something like $80-100 but I got it for $39.50. I’ve worn it to a bunch of weddings, luckily I had friends and family weddings that didn’t crossover with guests. Nobody caught me wearing more than once! Anyways, I’ve washed it a few times, when I wasn’t suppose to and it started to rip, but Alexa got it fixed so it might get worn a bunch more times. And if you are dying to have the dress, you can buy it for $96, which this is like super old out of stock. So no bargin hunting.

Also Alexa dyed her hair again, which makes me jealous. I want to dye my hair but my bosses are a little…. uh… judgmental about looks? And our clients are pretty old, and conservative so I don’t think it would be the best move on my part. Alexa wanted to dye her hair like her favorite wrestler Sasha Banks. Note- their all Alexa’s favorite. 

So I mentioned doing the Vegan MOFO Offseason thing, and there is the prompt of Pick 3, and she said to share any vegan articles. So I will make this week’s Sunday Reading in lists of threes. 

3 Recipes

CARAMELIZED BANANA & RUM SHAKE – I think I know what I should try and make next time Alexa and Ian crashed my place for game playing. I’ve been reading The Drunken Botanist, and it really helps make the connection that plants are booze, and it really a “vegan” food. It is exciting to see all the different herbs that are used in cocktails. My little liquor collection is growing fast, and hubby and I really need a cocktail cart for drinks and glasses.

HOMEMADE PUMPKIN SPICE LATTE WIHT SALTED PUMPKIN SPICE SYRUP – Okay so I’ve been making pumpkin spice lattes at home with a pumpkin spice almond milk that I bought. I’ve been lazy about making a syrup for myself, but this one sounds divine! I should make some and use it in my Spiced Pumpkin Carriage… or lattes. XD

3 Fun Stories

RESCUED RACCOON ORPHAN NAMED PUMPKIN – I am a sucker for any cute animal story. I think it does make veganism for relatable for most people. So I share them. This one is about a baby raccoon that was hurt and was nursed back to health. It is so endearing to see a raccoon snuggle with a puppy, showing that animals can connect with each other regardless of species.

BEHOLD THE ULTIMATE CROWDSOURCED MAP OF PUNNY BUSINESSES IN AMERICA – One thing I do know about vegans is that we love a friggin pun. I feel like there is probably a bunch more that need to be added, so check it out and add anyplace that you can think of.

WHAT HARAJUKU GIRLS REALLY LOOK LIKE – This “decora” style come about right when I fell out of Japan’s music culture. It is probably one of my least favorite street styles. But it is interesting to watch the video.

3 Letters

LETTER #1 – These letters have been buzzing around the vegan blog-o-sphere. If you aren’t up to date these are letters written by Miyoko Schinner, who has pretty much reinvented the vegan cheese scene, to Ryan Bethencourt, an entrepreneur and scientist that I know nothing about.

LETTER #2 – This is the response from Ryan, which focuses on how science is able to engineer products with science. It is fun and exciting, and talks about some cool foods coming out to the vegan community. He views veganism as a world of science and labs, which I can get behind, but I think most people find this anti-food. This view I think is more relatable to older generations who view processed foods as improved products from the natural ones, which sometimes they can be.

LETTER #3 – Miyoko responds back by taking the science away from vegan innovations and bringing it back to the home kitchen. And I love this. I love being able to say you can DO EVERYTHING in the kitchen. I think people are surprised at how easy some vegan food is, like nut milks. My boss was shocked when I said it is just essentially just water and nuts, then filtered. I think it is some sort of balance between science and homegrown food that will sell people to vegan food. It can be fake, but it doesn’t HAVE TO BE.

3 Shopping Finds

REST IN PIZZA SHIRT – I love this shirt as it seems super vegan to me. I’ve heard so many people say things like “Oh if you can’t have cheese I guess you can’t have pizza!” Apparently cheese is what makes the pizza to most people. But I love a good tomato pie, and I found pizza is a super vegan thing.

THE LONG ARM OF THE LOBSTER CARDIGAN – I use to love to eat lobsters, and I also think they are just a cool animal. I remember having them walk around the kitchen floor before eating them, which my husband thought was morbid. What can I say? I knew I was a murdering bastard at a young age. I dig this classy sweater which to me gives more of a nod that lobsters are cool and cute like any other trendy animal.

1960s GOLD METALLIC BROCADE WIGGLE DRESS – Anyone want to give me $140 for a new dress? I love fancy dresses, and I don’t go out as much as I should to put these dresses to work. But I love the light work of the metallic threads, so it isn’t overdoing it on the shiny aspect.


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What I wear to my local CSA, cat sweatshirt, stripped dress shirt, cloud leggings, purple striped socks, and super old docs.

Oh boy guys. I’ve been so busy with Vegan MOFO! I’m a little glad to be over with it, and I am also excited to sign up again next year! But for now there are lots of posts to catch up with that I want to write that were “Vegan MOFO themed.” And I’ve been collecting so many of these links that I’ve wanted to share with everyone! So sorry that it is a little long and overwhelming! Take you time guys. Oh! And I can start doing my Farm Haul again! The summer is pretty much done, so that insanely long shopping lists are done. And I get a little bit of break since some of the foods can be stored long term. So yey!

Farm Round Up:

What I got:
1 jack o’lantern
1 bag of stir fry greens
1/2 bag collard greens and kale
1 head of red cabbage
5 tomatoes
9 small potatoes
1 small butternut squash
1 red onion
1 yellow onion
3 big beets
5 small green peppers
4 small broccoli crowns

What I’m cooking:
red lentil dal (with onion and tomatoes)
black bean “chicken” and broccoli stir-fry
Pad See Ew
ginger, beet, and carrot soup
tacos with roasted peppers
collard and kale greens in shake

Food Links:

I need to try out these mango yolks. I really do miss the joy of popping a liquid orb on top of toast. 

So my husband has been pretty trying to get a waffle maker and I am not a sweet bread breakfast person. But these savory waffles? Uh hell yeah.

So I love Eat Your Kimchi, videos of a Canadian couple in South Korea. They recently did a video of making raw and vegan coconut oil chocolates. They give some nice tips, which makes me want to make some… maybe filled with cookie butter?!

Paleo vs Vegan! Such a heated debate. Even the whole protein thing, ugh. My Mom gave me “you brainwashed gurl” eyes during lunch when I told her she probably shouldn’t worry about protein going on a mostly vegetarian diet (especially since she is still eating chicken and fish occasionally, and eggs and dairy frequently). Anyways, I like this short story about how a guy switched from Paleo to Vegan, and nothing happened.

I am not sure why but I am mesmerized by this blue ice cream.

I love reading vegan travel blogs, because it makes me believe that traveling with my husband in the future will still be enriching. One of the things I miss after going vegan is the spontaneity about traveling. Trying the local foods etc. Travel blogs show that it still kind-of is. This post on Denmark on Oh Lady Cakes is getting me pumped. Now I just need several thousand dollars for the plane tickets. XD

Pumpkin Ice Cream is back at Franklin Fountain, hope they are still doing it vegan because the all vegan Great Pumpkin Sundae was THE SHIT!

There is a nitro infused black coffee in Philly? I need to try this out.

Ted Nghiem writes a great post about why food is exciting… and it isn’t just about trying the new hip foods. I love learning about the history and the story about the food sometimes more than the food itself.

I never knew there were so many vegan friendly places to eat in Cleveland. Roadtrip?

The other night I got asked by a vegetarian why I didn’t eat honey, and I had a few points of why it is bad, but a lot of my logic is that there isn’t really a NEED for honey. I mean it isn’t as culturally important as meat in the USA. I was also happy to read this article saying honey is pretty much as bad as sugar

I really want to try this squash, it’s seed was 800 years old!

Feminism and Human Interest

I am sure most of you have already seen this article- about emails sent out to and from trees.

I love animal skeletons. I said it. I know, it isn’t vegan. But I find skeletons so beautiful, human or otherwise. So I’ve been thinking about the ethics of being vegan and taking animal for decoration. Well, this blog post does a great job pretty much saying “ethical” taxidermy is bullshit. Although this person eats animals, I love her wording, there is no bullshitting and dancing around the issues here.

Is it nice to read something POSITIVE about climate change.


I’ve seen a few article talking about the horrors of “trigger warnings” in school settings. And I think there would be some good points, but most of the time it felt like rantings of someone who hates Millenials. I think this sums up how I feel about trigger warnings. It isn’t about trying to get out of doing the work, but more about setting up a discussion!


I knew that women had a pretty big part of the early film industry but rarely do people name names. So this was a nice educational video about Alice Guy-Blaché.

Health

I’ve recently taken some Orange Theory classes, like about 3 months worth. I stopped taking them for various reasons, but I started to learn why people like taking fitness classes. I think this article makes some great points that I didn’t really believe before taking Orange Theory. Like it is nice to have free hair ties and pads in the bathroom for emergencies.

This article by NPR is a little disturbing about the effects of not getting nutrition for young female athletes. Some of the effects will last into adulthood.

The science of body positivity.

Epigenetic is an important key in todays health. This article talks about a study that tries to compare adults who had troubling childhood experiences and their health conditions. It’s an interesting read. And if you don’t know much about epigenetic I would recommend watching this SciShow video that explains it.

Art

I need all these crowns.

These are beautiful machine that walk on beaches. With some cool videos of them walking around.

I don’t know if this is art but I want Glittery Rain Boots

I love these retro spoopy pins.


If you watched the video above about Alice Guy-Blaché, then you might want to see this video by her.

Science

Mental floss reports on cool glowing bacteria, the story is pretty interesting and show that you shouldn’t dismiss kids.

POOP CARS. Got you to click on that link.

And the future of toilets, which is again oddly interesting. What do I listen to when I poop? Nothing. I’m fast.


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I’ve been in a weird mood lately. I think it is mostly the weather and stress. The weather has been hot and muggy, and I am mentally not getting use to it. Is that weird? It is like my body and brain is just giving a big ol’ nope when it comes to productivity. Shopping around for a house has been weird. We don’t have much money, which means very little to choose from. And then there is the concept of resale value. My god, resale value. It is enough to rip out your soul and personality. I think that concept alone is enough to make me hate house hunting. Seriously.

BUUUUUT…… it is my birthday and I am pumped for that. I was able to go for a run this morning, we went to an open house (which is probably confirming our need for a house over a townhouse), and for dinner we are going into Philadelphia for a dinner at Charlie Was A Sinner. Yesterday, we made a chocolate 2 layer cake and pizza. So life is good in that sense. 

Art:

These photos of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park by Kaylah are awesome.

Some of these hotel rooms are amazing– I mean some are sleeping in little spheres in the forest!

I heard I’m Sorry by Inflatable Boy Clams on the radio on the way home on Friday and it just made my day.

For real, this bathing suit is art. Ugh, I hate loving one pieces so much. They suck when you have to pee.

For those who are into the culinary arts, and photography, I’m drooling over these Shiitake Bok Choy dumplings.

Kanaho’s Show has posted a bunch of posts with great photography. My two favorite collections are MIZUHO and TOKYO.

Science:

I love hearing about new species.

Reading this article that defends coffee is nice and refreshing. So many people and health nuts are quick to dismiss coffee as a bad thing, though I still think it can be bad if you are dependent on it for energy. I never feel “buzzed” when drinking coffee, and I only notice that my hand get jittery because I just keep drinking for the flavor. XD

Feminism:

So it is worth noting that I (Jennifer) am not a huge comic book SUPERHERO fan. It isn’t like I hate it, just never got into American comics in that way. But Alexa on the other hand is very into comics, and reads some of the superheroes. But even still, I don’t watch the new superhero blockbusters, but I knew there were some hubbub about Black Widow. I read a few articles and I think NPR wrote a great article, which sums up how I feel about what I HAVE seen with superhero women. The article made me feel inspired to write a post of one of my favorite comics, Ray. So hopefully that will be up later this week.

Huffington Post wrote a small piece playing off the phrase “gives zero fucks“.

Flashback Summer writes two interesting posts about people of color wearing vintage clothing. I love vintage, and I love vegan food, both are online communities that are associated with white people. Emileigh sets it up by interviewing pinup girls of color and ask them about the issues they face and why they think there are less people of color that are into vintage clothing.


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Shirt: Old Navy | Skirt: Hot Topic | Tights: Hot Topic | Necklace: Target | Shoes: Modcloth

I’ve realized that I haven’t posted in quite a bit, but I had also completely forgotten about the cute outfits that Jen had been and angel to capture for me! So the good news is…here’s an outfit post! 

The Little Mermaid is one of my favorite Disney films. I just love the character designs, music, and animation. I would also argue that Prince Eric is one of, if not the best, Disney Prince. When Hot Topic began releasing all of their adorable Disney themed items (ranging from a clothing line to Disney inspired jewelry) I got pretty excited. It unfortunately falls under the unfortunate circumstance of having a 50% chance of being really cute or really tacky, but for the most part I think they’ve done a pretty decent job. 

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I had purchased the skirt on my own after pining for it for weeks. I love skater skirts because they can be paired with pretty much anything and are a simple and easy choice. The only thing I would tweak is that these ones in particular seem to run a bit small and quite short. The shortness doesn’t bother me all that much because I’m short myself…but I definitely can’t wear this to work if we’re expecting to get shipments in. This one was a size medium, but I almost feel as though I should have gotten it in a large because it’s still a smidge tight – not so tight that it’s unflattering, but I immediately want to change after I’ve eaten anything and that’s no fun!

The rest of my outfit came to me as gifts in one way or another (for the most part). The tights were given to me by my friend Bridget for Christmas and I was SO excited to pair these two pieces together. I don’t care if it’s cheesy, look at how cute they are! I love the trend of “silhouette” tights that is going on right now because there is just so much you can do with them. 

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I really liked the idea of putting my hair back in a bow like Ariel has it in most of the film, and I was lucky enough to have a cute little bow that matched my shoes! I got these for Christmas as well, but I do know that they’re from modcloth. I love the deep red color of them and they keep my feet nice and warm. I also love the fact that they have a bit of heel to them, but not too much, so I can even wear them to work. 

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I even put cute little bows on my ears too! I got the mint bow earrings from modcloth quite some time ago and I find that they go with almost everything I own…I wear a lot of mint. I acquired the necklace from Target around Christmas time when I had been shopping for family and it caught my eye. I’m not usually into the big jeweled “statement” necklaces but after watching a ton of Grace Helbig videos over the winter I finally started to understand them. In a way it reminded me of her and I just adored the color palette and design. I would even go as far to say that this outfit (the upper half anyway) is just me trying to channel Miss Helbig, so thanks for the inspiration gurl. 


15-04-11-01

Cardigan: Target | Dress: Pink Martini via Modcloth Stylish Surprise | Tighes: Target | Purse: Homemade | Shoes: Dirty Laundry

I really wanted to share this cute new dress that I got from Modcloth. I haven’t been shopping for new clothing in awhile. Mostly because I am trying save most of my paycheck for a home. Scrimping and saving can suck. But every year I let myself buy some clothes from Modcloth’s Stylish Surprise Sale. It is pretty fun since you give your size and they send a random dress. It is a great way for them to get rid of their odd stocks. I’ve gotten some cool dresses this way. I’ve also gotten some busts, like they send two of the same dress once, and a third, all size 2. I’m more of a large-small if that makes any sense. The cool thing about this dress? It is really stiff, so I can do whatever I wanted in it during a windy day. No fears of it flipping up. It makes me wonder if I should start making dresses at home of stiffer materials.

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Jon and I went into Philadelphia this Saturday to go see the Kano exhibit. The cool thing about having a membership to the art museum is that it doesn’t give you any sense of needing to spend the WHOLE day at the museum. You can pop in, see one exhibit, and call it a day. The Kano exhibit features Japanese screens, paintings, fans, and more that were made by the Kano school. It was an interesting contrast from what I learned about Japanese art in school since most of the focus of these screens and fans were with gold leaf. 

The pieces are very delicate and rotate every few weeks to help preserve them. We went to see the 2nd rotation, which finished it’s run that weekend. So we plan to go one more time to the 3rd and last rotation before the exhibit ends. Sadly, no photographs were allowed so I couldn’t take a picture of the best piece there. There was a portrait of a Japanese man of high status, I can’t remember if he was an official, shogun, or whatever. But he had a hat that looked like it had a penis on it. I looked at the painting, then the description if there was anything maybe explaining it. Then I catch my husband bending closer to the picture, as if maybe there wasn’t a penis on the hat, and that it was just an oddly shaped flower. Since photography wasn’t allowed they had sketch books, but I didn’t want anyone catching me drawing a penis hat. I mean come on! I joked that photos were allowed because they didn’t want the phallic hat to circulate.

But is there any super smart Japanese history aficionados? Have you seen any black hats that look likes penis is just sitting in the front? I need to solve this mystery.

 


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Shirt: Forever21 | Necklace: ToFebruary | Sweater: Amazon | Pants: Ci Sono via Modcloth | Shoes: Target

Let’s start with the obvious, the Northeast Blizzard was a total bust for people in New Jersey. Schools were canceled, stores announced they would close, and everyone was ready to work from home. Then we all woke up to snow on the ground, but the grass still peaking through. It only seems silly since there were travel bans and everything. Why couldn’t I be living in Boston? With snow all around and me snuggling with a blanket and a good book.

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But I figured I would still share my super snuggly outfit from this weekend. I wear something similar on a fairly regular basis. My work is in an old building and the back rooms where I work are really cold. So I pretty much just wear sweaters all winter. I even got this bunny sweater just for work. It is cheap and polyester, which works out nicely for a vegan! I originally got it on ebay, but now you can find this shirt all over the place (and several sellers on amazon!)

I even saw this shirt make an appearance on the popular blog A Beautiful Mess. But I can assure you I’ve had this sweater for much longer. It is cute, but it is starting to wear down. And if you plan on picking up your own, I can say that it is definitely a layering sweater. It is way too itchy to wear by itself, though I am always fine wearing short sleeved shirts underneath.

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I do want to stop and talk about this cute new necklace my husband gave me as an early Valentines Day gift. The necklace is a replica from the Korean drama The Master’s Sun, which I’ve talked about briefly before. I think this is such a creative idea for a show and plays around norms in sexualities and gender in Korea. Anyways, this necklace plays a symbolic role in the show, and you can buy it for yourself. It is so cute and I nerded way out and needed it. I am very nerding out and want this knock off dress from the show as well.

Well, snow or no snow, I hope everyone is having a good week.

Did anyone else get some snow?


15-01-05-03

Shirt: Comme Toi via Modcloth | Skirt: Alice Moon via Modcloth | Tights: Unknown | Shoes: Target | Collar Clips: Ladybird Likes

Alexa and I got together this Monday to catch up since we didn’t see each other at all during the winter festivities, one of the drawbacks of working in retail stores during the holidays. Naturally we got all dressed up super cute and took some photos in town. I got to wear some of my Christmas gifts, my beautiful new skirt and collar clips.

While getting together Alexa mentioned that she was thinking about making a post on her favorite music from 2014. I thought I should too, but I soon remembered I actually didn’t listen to much new music in 2014. I am notorious for saying the term “new album” when I mean “most recent album.” But I do have a few albums that I got pretty excited about, and I will leave some out, since I think they are making Alexa’s list. One thing is for sure, it is the year of the female singers for me.

YUKI – FLY

YUKI_-_FLY_limNo I am not going caps crazy, the proper title and artist name are in all caps. I’ve been a huge fan of the Japanese singer YUKI since high school. I even had a friend perform one her songs for our wedding to walk down the aisle to. She originally was the lead singer of the group Judy and Mary, who wrote the theme song to Rurouni Kenshin. Once the group broke up, she went solo, starting out with a rock song, morphing into folk, and then into her own brand of pop.

Her newest album sticks to her self branded pop style, but dips into different styles of music. Most interesting is her borrowing hip hop styles in Naminori 500 Miles. Fly is just as refreshing and uplifting as her joy album. And the artist direction is really fabulous, though very disconnected from single to single. And can we talk about her new music video for Daredemo Lonely? I love her self awareness of the video medium (you can see the sides of the set during the video) and use to playful dance (in a very Fatboy Slim style). And that outfit? brb guise. I gotta get a new workout outfit.
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Shiina Ringo – Hi Izuru Tokoro

TYCT-69053This is the first album with original songs from Shiina Ringo since 2009, five years ago. She had released a few singles, live albums, and such. This album, does have some singles that were released a few years earlier, but still delivers some great new ones. Her newest single featured is Nippon, which was used as the theme for Japan for the World Cup. 

Earlier in the year Shiina released another full length album filled with covers of songs she wrote for other artists. It is a great collection of songs, but they don’t play well with each other. They varied too much, leaving a sour taste when playing them back to back. But it is an interesting departure since the songs aren’t always her signature retro-meets-rock genre.

I am shocked to see Shiina’s new Monroe hairdo. Although she always dabbles in jazz, enka, and older songs her fashion is modern or from 50’s and earlier. She says her favorite albums are from Ella Fitzgerald and Blankey Jet City, a modern garage rock band, which kind-of sums up her music style.

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Ga-in – Truth or Dare

Gain_-_Truth_Or_Dare_(Digital_Edition)The first thing is that I need to point out is that South Korea is a very sexually repressed nation. Although pop stars might be barely dressed, TV story lines have the “kiss” as the ultimate climax of love. From the perspective of music, it is dominated by record companies creating groups and controlling all aspects of image, which can leave some “sexy” dances and videos looking stiff and forced. Ga-in is a singer from the group Brown Eyed Girls, but releases music as a solo artist with a different company than her group. This gives her a lot of control of what she releases in music and videos. 

Truth or Dare is only a mini-album (Ga-in has yet to release a full length album as a solo artist), but has extremely dark undertones. What makes this release so special is the title track, Fxxk U. The video highlights rape in a relationship, a taboo subject in the United States as well (can we remember about the NC-17 rating for Blue Valentine?) 

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Kyary Pamyu Pamyu – Pikapika Fantajin

a3Most everyone on the internet knows Kyary Pamyu Pamyu because of her Pon Pon Pon music video or her Lady Gaga meme. But I know her as the next prodigy from Nakata Yasutaka. In March 2014, Alexa and I were able to see Kyary Pamyu Pamyu perform LIVE, which was absolutely amazing.

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu’s newest album really excited me. She is still keeping to her style of 8-bit mixed with some retro-electronica. Nakata Yasutaka has the tendency to evolve his sugar-pop groups into a more dance-club based, like his other projects capsule and Perfume.

Since Kyary Pamyu Pamyu’s style is essential to her music, it is worth noting her artistic themes. I wasn’t as impressed this time around. It took awhile to choose which video to link below since they just didn’t has the same punch as before. But she did come up with some cute album photos.

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Barragán

barragan_coverOn a totally different note, I think I was most excited about Blonde Redhead’s newest album this year. Like most fans, I wasn’t sold on the first listen. The songs are much less layered than previous albums, making it a dull first listen. But the upon the second listening the songs grew onto me. I started to like the simpler form, as it gives a more haunting feel to the music. The group really challenged themselves by simplifying the music, creating a minimalist theme for this album. I admire how each album they stick to specific theme to the sound, most groups don’t do that anymore. It is a bummer that I missed them when they came to Philadelphia for their tour. They were playing at Union Transfer, which mean I could listened to them while eating Little Baby’s Ice Cream.

Need to give a sampling of these albums? Below are videos from each album, and some of the artists are streaming on Spotify and all artists (except for YUKI) are available on iTunes.

NOTE Alexa got her list of best 2014 music here. What does Alexa list that Jen didn’t (but loved)? Orange Caramel, 2NE1, and Kimbra.

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I’ve been pretty down, and I felt like the best remedy was to be 100% superficial. I wanted to make a fantasy wish list for Christmas. These are things that I wouldn’t of even asked for Christmas since they are so over the top and impractical. I have been so careful about my money and not buying any clothes it is driving me a little nuts.

modclothbones 

Big Splendor Skirt | Causing Quite a Sternum Tee | A Very Hip Engagement Skirt

I’ve been all about golds and skeletons lately. I love these three pieces, having a cutesy top with a collar and rib cage on it. I could either pair it with a flared (and discontinued) skirt to make it more feminine. Or I could pair it with a gold pencil skirt to add more of the leg bones. Although my bosses wouldn’t prevent me from wearing bones on my clothing, I think they would prefer if I didn’t.

running

Gold Leopard Leggings | Shiny Sun Shorts

I love running but I hate being told that I should be wearing $200 pair of running pants. You can usually find me running in a pair of galaxy leggings with a giant Jet’s shirt on top. As far as I’m concert workout gear isn’t everyday clothing, which gives you tons of space to have fun and do something crazy. Which makes me wonder why there isn’t more gold and silver involved. I am loving these gold leopard leggings, and they look really warm. I’ve also been swooning over these gold shorts for the summer. Side note- am I the only one who loves how unhappy all the American Apparel models look? Like that guy, his face looks like “Yeah, buy these shorts if you fucking idiot. These shorts are lame man.”

decor

Gold Human Skull Shaped Box | Hippo-Hop and You Don’t Stop Vase | Rustic Romp Taper Holder

I think this collection items I want for my house is a great example of my collect taste. Actually it is more about being obsessed with animal themed decor. I mean humans are animals right? So that skull goes in the animal category. I would love the skull to keep little knick-knacks in in the living room. The hippo would be great since I am always picking flowers from my CSA, or I could keep some herbs in him for the kitchen.

bearshorts

Glacier Sweater | Prosecco Wishes Sequin Shorts

I love the look or sequined shorts, but they are usually expensive and itchy. So I never actually get them. But I can’t help love the idea of pairing them with a polar bear sweater-shirt. Some tights would go under the shorts so I could keep warm during the winter, with knee high socks going over them. But lets face it, out of all articles of clothing I need, sparkly winter shorts is not on that list.

hairdye

The last thing I want? To dye my hair. I’ve been pretty down lately, and I kind-of wish I could wake up with bright and happy head of hair. I remember in college I use to go brown for the summer, and bleach out blonde in the winter. I kind-of liked having that happy bright burst in the morning. I particularly love how Kaylah from The Dainty Squid has her bright orange hair creeping out of her comfy hat.

Sadly, I don’t think my bosses would like my brightly colored hair. They are just put off by “punk” appearances and very old fashioned that people with colored hair, holes in their faces, and tattooed are mean people. I feel like if I stop working retail I would go through a colored hair phase, which would be pretty fun.

What impractical dream gift are wishing for this Christmas?