Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Social Bloggers

Question for you bloggers out there: how active are you in the blogging community?

I spend a lot of time reading people's blogs, finding new blogs to read and jumping in on interesting discussions. I comment often - when I have something to say, that is - and wonder about the people who never seem to. Meaning, from a lot of the BIG blogs out there, I never see comments from these bloggers on my blog nor on many other people's blogs. It's like they have zero exposure in the blogging world apart from press clippings and their own blog. I guess it seems fair that not everyone has something to say and if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. Also fair to say that these big bloggers probably just stick to their blogs that they know and don't have an inkling (or time) to venture out and read/visit new ones. Being too popular can be a pain sometimes, I'm guessing.

I don't know - I think the blogging world has become very self-centered, as of late. Which is an oxymoron in itself considering that OF COURSE it is self-centered, these are all blogs about ourselves! That irony aside though, I still think it is very important to maintain a sense of community in the blogging world and to be an active member in those communities. Because blogs by nature are all about the blogger (there are exceptions of course!), then maintaining a sense of "sharing" rather than "telling" is very important. I think.

It seems almost sad when you see this popular bloggers who are peppered with all this undying praise from their "fans" that they probably don't have the desire to at least acknowledge the person and where they came from. Occasionally it seems that some just want to brag about their latest expensive purchases (without humilty) and roll around in the comments. It's so impersonal in a way - we blog to connect so you would think it would be a two-way street, to keep the connection going.

But on the other hand, I really appreciate other "big bloggers" who do make the effort to visit other people's blogs and become more involved (such as Krystal, Budget Babe, Maegan and Fashion Chalet, Marian, Clothes Horse, to name a few, you guys are fabulous!).

I know when people comment on my blog, I always make an effort to at least once a week check out the people whose blogs I haven't heard of before or whose blogs aren't on my blogroll. They went through the trouble to read my blog and leave me some feedback, I just like to know a bit more about the person and see what they have to say.

What about you? Is it a hassle to read your reader's blogs? Too exhausting (so many blogs out there!) Or do you like to make the rounds and make sure you know what's going on out there in all these seperate worlds, whether you comment or not?

In other news, I've been stuck on this maddening journey to get a pair of Modern Vintage boots.

The great Budget Babe alerted me to Shopflick and this most awesome sale they were having on a pair of Modern Vintage Butero Booties. I had been looking for a pair of flat leather ankle boots and these were it, with buttery soft leather and ruching details. And what a steal, marked down from $295 to $44, and in my size too!

Only problem was my usual problem with online shopping: they don't ship to Canada. But I was able to provide them with my US post box in Point Roberts, Washington where I could easily go and pick them up on a weekend.

Well, the order went through. Then it took about two weeks for the boots to ship (shopflick's supplier, plumstyle, had problems locating the boots). Then they noticed I had a PO box so they couldn't use UPS. Then it shipped out - finally - by USPS.

I tracked it and saw it arrived at Lopez Island, WA. Now, I know that's not Point Roberts but I assumed that because it is surrounded by the San Juan islands, that it could be like a district name or something.

So after the boots had been there for 5 days, my mom and I went across the border on Saturday to pick them up. We went to the PO box, got the delivery notice and went to the counter with it. The woman at the counter than proceeded to give us a lecture on the package..."We only hold for 14 days, this time is the exception, it won't happen again here, etc"

I wanted to point out that the package had only been there for 5 days, but whatever.

So we get in the car and head towards the grocery store to get some milk and eggs (cheaper in the states) and I notice that the sender on the label says 'Forever 21 Inc.'

That's strange, I think, I guess Forever 21 owns Shopflick/Plumstyle or wherever these boots came from.

Then I open the box, expecting to see my boots but instead I see Forever 21 tissue paper wrapped around all these clothes.

WTF IS THIS? Where are my boots? And why do I have these clothes from Forever 21?

My mom is equally confused and is accusing me of buying more clothes again WHICH I DID NOT. But then it hits me.

A month ago I placed an order on the American Forever 21 site because the Canadian version sucks. They had all this great stuff that we didn't have, plus Twelve by Twelve which I always had a fancy for. Anyhoo, I placed my order and then had F21 email me saying that unless I jumped through all these card verfication hoops, they would not bill me or send me the package. I guess because my credit card was canadian but the address was american they had some issue (even though I did it that way last year) and I had to call my bank, find some code, provide the code, fax a copy of my card and id....no thanks! This was a sign that I was not meant to have the clothes. I remember then ordering stuff on the Canadian site instead (not as nice stuff though) and cancelling the order with the american one. Forget it, I told them.

Anyhoo, I guess the economy is affecting sales because apparently they put my order through anyway and here I am with a box of clothes that I wasn't supposed to have. And yes, they had been sitting in the post office for a month so no wonder the woman gave me a lecture!

But that still didn't solve the mystery of the boots. Where were they?

So we went back to the post office and discovered that Shopflick/Plumstyle shipped my boots TO THE WRONG ADDRESS! The wrong Zip code, in fact. We have no idea where Lopez Island even is! So as soon as I got home (after my mom and I donned all of the clothes from the box in order to fool Canadian customs and have nothing to declare) I looked up my boot order and I did supply them with the right address so obviously someone on their end made a HUGE boo-boo.

Now, I don't mind waiting even LONGER for these damn boots, I'm just afraid that someone else is going to claim them! Could it be, these boots and I are never meant to be?

I'll keep you updated. The people at Plumstyle are on it and being very nice about it so hopefully I can have some info on the missing/possibly abducted boots soon.

Meanwhile, I absolutely fell in love with Twelve by Twelve's stuff! So much better quality and design than original F21. I got this gorgeous nude cardigan with sheer back panels (Sheer + Nude = two 2009 trends right there) and vintage-style buttons and paired that with my sequin forever 21 dress/tunic (from the Muse post, yesterday) to kind of keep a lady-like check on the rock and roll style. The cardigan also went awesome with my new nude leather wedges from manufacture d'essai...

Today I paired the cardigan with a silky, khaki Twelve by Twelve bubble skirt with pockets (love pockets, so slouch-inducing), an olive F21 one tank and cheetah print pony-haired Tory Burch Reva Flats...Safari attempt #2?

Rounding out the rest of my purchases was a gorgeous green cardigan (more pockets, yay!), a yellow linen skirt which bunches in the wrong places, black/navy (I can't tell) wide-leg linen pants with a foldable yogastyle waistband (tres flattering and comfy) and an H81 striped dress that reminds me of that crazy Fruit Stripe Gum.

Quite the score considering it was an accidental purchase, though I admit it did leave me with a sense of guilt. I mean, I felt proud of myself for cancelling the order and not spending more money that I don't have and yet these clothes still found their way to me. I guess if Modern Vintage and I aren't star-crossed lovers, I'll always have Forever 21.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Inspired By: Muse

Muse has to be one of the most underated bands out there. I started listening to them in 2004, flabbergasted that I hadn't heard of them before and shocked to find out that they had already had three albums out by then. In fact, they had formed in 1994!

Of course, them being British and very progressive, means that the mainstream public here in North America doesn't pay them much attention. It's the media's fault, really, as I barely see any coverage on this immensely talented band.

And when I say immensely, I mean it. These boys are insane. There is only three of them but I swear it sounds like a whole army is backing them. Their live performances are outstanding to say the least, and I can't help but wonder where the hell they get their energy from. I find it exhausting sometimes just listening to them.

If you've never heard of Muse and you like bands such as Radiohead or Queens of the Stoneage (or actually QUEEN because Muse's bravado, opulence and...epicness, for lack of a better word...seems very much influenced by Freddy and the gang), then give Muse a listen. They will blow your socks off and you can't help but be impressed by Matt Bellamy's raging falsetto. They are one of my favourite bands of this generation and deserve all the praise and recognition they can get.

Anyhoo, to dress "inspired by Muse" involved some thinking outside of the box. I wanted something flamboyant, dressy, engergetic, slightly dirty (hence the stairway) and British. I immediately thought of my ASOS sequin skirt which for the life of me I have no idea why I have (must have been one of those drunken online shopping escapades) but it seemed to fulfill its purpose here, especially when I wore it over a sequined dress. Pair that with my zipper ankle boots and tuxedo jacket and I was feeling very "Hysteria."

Sequin skirt, boots and jewelry: ASOS; Hat and sequin dress: Forever 21; Jacket: H&M; Tights: Aristoc

Friday, March 27, 2009

Film Fridays: Mogambo

I got dressed this morning feeling very 'Mogambo' (or Ralph Lauren S/S 09, whichever you prefer).

For those that don't know, I am a huge classic movie buff and have spent many years collecting and watching classic films (from the popular to the obscure, from 1933 to 1975), as well as classic film books, posters, autographs (Lauren Bacall's autograph and a letter from the great late Katherine Hepburn are my prized possessions), etc.

Mogambo is one of those films that I had to see due to my love for Grace Kelly AND Ava Gardner (Clark Gable ain't too shabby either). It's pretty entertaining, if not just being a blown-out soap opera amidst the apes of Africa.

I wouldn't recommend you run out to the store and rent the thing (if you can find it) but it's wonderully on-location shooting and stylish stars make it worth catching if you happen to see it on TV.

It's also a remake of Red Dust, again starring (a much younger) Gable and a famous blonde, this time Jean Harlow. I liked Red Dust a little bit better but you can be the judge.

Anyhoo, I present you my version of Mogambo!

Safari jacket: Forever 21; Tank (underneath): Vera Moda; Silk and crochet skirt: Odille; Belt: ASOS; Boots: Bata; Earrings + large bangle: Forever 21; Coin bracelet: Indiska (Norwegian store); Amber bracelets: amber shop in Tallin, Estonia; Stone scarab bracelet: street vendor in Barcelona

Hope you all have a fantastic weekend!!! x0x0 Lusty

PS - Due to various comments and emails I get, I will definitely come up with a list of my favourite shops (most are online and/or Ebay and all ship to Canada - cuz duh, that's where I am :). Plus my best Ebay advice (I've been buying and selling at least once a month since 2001)

PPS - I've changed my comment settings because I know a lot of people (AMANDA!) read my blog but don't have a blogger account or can't remember their password lol. I'll change it back if I get too many nasty comments but until then, comment away!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Citrus Zest

Today the lemon yellow sun finally willed the storm clouds away...

Today the cornflower sky made the bare branches look wistful, as if they were reaching for that saturation...

Today I felt I needed to wear citrus hues in support of Spring's efforts to show herself...

Today I went for a walk in the woods and found myself.

Mirror flats: Kate Spade; Cardigan: Karen Kane; Multicoloured Earrings and Silk Shell: Forever 21; Skirt: H&M; Bamboo + Crystal Bangle: Kenneth Jay Lane; Chain/leather bracelet: ASOS; Bag: Coach

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Productivity levels are through the roof

Ha. Yeah right. This is what I've done with my morning:

All Greek to me

I fooled around on Polyvore and created my ideal outfit for today's mood. And I've decided that I want that dress badly (I love anything drapey and Grecian) and that I can't wait for those shoes to arrive in my office on Thursday (also wishing I could have ordered them in yellow). I also want a brightly coloured crochet bag for the hotter months and tons of gold clinky jewelry.

It's raining raining raining here and all the while I am dreaming dreaming dreaming of everything that spring and summer have to offer. Sure, my summer won't be spent in Greece (unlike some people I know, ahem, Keirsten), but I can still dream.

What I want most of all the freedom that comes with it...I know that Summer doesn't suddenly mean that all my responsibilities go away (that was what high school was for, unless you were stuck doing math in summer school, as I was once)but it gives you more freedom of choice to do what you want. I mean, you have the whole OUTSIDE! Right now, I am stuck in my pitiful apartment. If it was sunny and warm, I could go to the beach and suntan. Or swim (yeah right). Read a book in the sun. Have a picnic. Go swimming in the pool on my roof. Relax with on the patio with a bottle of wine and a cheese plate and watch the sun go down. Go for a walk without toting an umbrella or wearing bulky, itchy clothes. Being able to just slip something effortless over your head and on to your feet. Imagine! Slipping on a gauzy dress, slipping on some freeing sandals. No worrying about how you'll keep warm or your feet going into cold puddles (ugh, is there a worse feeling out there than wet shoes?).

Most of all, I am really looking forward to go sailing again. I didn't get to go last year (we rent out the boat to tourists during the summer months) and so I'm really jonesing for a chance to feel that sweet salty breeze on my face, relax on deck with a beer and listen to Johnny Cash while the seals swim past and the loon calls out from across the bay.

But enough dreaming. As much as this constant rain suck suck sucks, spring and summer will eventually be here. I'm hoping it won't be as wet and cold as some summers we have had in the past but anything is better than what we have now. Plus even a rainy day in summer can be lovely - so as long as you remember the hope of sunshine around the corner. Because to me, that's what the season brings. Knowing that better days are right around the corner and because of that, anything is possible.

Was totally NOT supposed to be a long rant about summer but anyway. I'm still tired from being overtired from yesterday and now have a grueling spin class to look forward to after work. The rain has also been interefering with my running plans so I haven't been able to go since last Wednesday. I don't care if my physiotherapist says my body won't be able to handle most exercise very well, I'm already feeling doughy and chubby from my few days off (and the excessive drinking and eating on the weekend probably didn't help either. Sigh). What's moderation again?

Oh yeah, last week I attended a clothing swap party hosted by Style Symmetry. I was so happy that most of the girls liked my clothes and that they were going to a new home. I myself walked away with a few key peices: a mint light v-neck sweater from H&M, an Express jean jacket (I don't own any jean jackets!) and a green-print H&M dress which will be perfect for summer (with new sandals):

Anyhoo, one girl at the swap was taken with a few shirts that looked fabulous with her leggings. Then the question came up over leggings and if they are acceptable fashion or not. There are so many arguments for these seemingling harmless items of clothing but here is my take on it.

I know "Leggings Are Not Pants" - doesn't matter how many times you say it, girls will still wear them as pants. The thing about leggings with me is that I think they are totally fine to wear with a long tunic or short dress or skirts (not shorts though, ew...no). In fact, I often prefer it if someone had leggings under a billowy, short or see-through dress because it would look a hell of a lot trashier without it. And with the often awkward length of tunics, leggings can be your only option.

My rule is: If I can't see your full ass or your crotch, leggings are fine. If I can, then you are indeed wearing leggings as pants and that's a big no-no. Especially on certain people who have no business wearing them (you out there with the 45-year old wobbly, floppy ass, I am talking to YOU). I think actually the worst part about leggings is the whole "Are those tights are aren't those tights? Where are her pants?" musings you get from passerbys.

What's your take?

Last but not least, it's good to know that if I'm not able to lose the weight, I can always subscribe to "Pounds and Personality," the popular bestseller for parents of chubby daughters - written by well-known authorities. I didn't know they had fat girl authorities back then? Just goes to show how the "skinny=better" mantra we are bomarded with everyday didn't come from nowhere...

Monday, March 23, 2009

Live Nude Girl(s)

Frack, I can just imagine how many weirdo hits I am going to get now just because of this title. It doesn't help that I once wrote a blog post about "how to be good in bed" (it's somewhere in ye olde archives) and I get at least 20 people a day who find me by googling that. That and my love for garter belts. Google is a stange beast.

I'm gonna keep this entry short (is that even possible for me?) as I only got around 4 hours of sleep last night thanks to a running mind and tossing and turning. I think it's cuz I totally ignored my diet this weekend and got very very drunk. Yep turns out my "giving up booze" for Lent only lasted 21 days but hey that was 21 days of torture not being able to relax with a glass of wine or go out with friends, etc.

So I totally overdid it (also last time I got DRUNK drunk was NYE so that ain't too bad) and had a bottle of wine, jagerbombs and tequila shots and I'm sure other stuff I can't remember. Oh man. Waking up to an epic hangover PLUS $150 broker was a good reminder as to why I hadn't gotten drunk in awhile. I'm glad I got it out of my system though, because after being a hermit for months and not going out ANYWHERE it was bound to happen. Just think I'll keep my drinking to a glass of wine or two from now on ;)

On top of the torture, I had physiotherapy that morning which had me running on a treadmill for 5 minutes. Can you imagine doing that with an epic hangover? not fun! Though I did figure out what I do wrong when I run...apparently my spine collapses with each step. yah. Doesn't that sound nice. And my therapist warned that even if I wanted to run 4x a week in the future for the hell of it (ie not training) I still would have to take breaks from running for a while because it's really not good for my body and my body will begin to get rather damaged from it. Yikes.

So that was my weekend. Went to a friend's engagement party on Saturday which then spilled into a a huge tournament of quarters. Had a lazy Sunday. Overall nice but I'm glad I'm back on track with my diet today - makes me feel a bit more in control over things.

Outfit post: I've been in love with the concept of nude dressing for awhile but I just never seem to just start pulling things together. So I decided to attempt a nudey look on Friday for work. I think it worked out all right, though next to my rather beige dress, my cardigan wasn't really the nude colour I thought it was. In fact, I have no idea what colour it is...and I am way too tired today to wrap my head around it.

Cardigan: H&M; Dress: ASOS; Tights: H&M; Shoes: Unknown; Bag: Coach

OOh, I also finally got around to documenting some of my clothes last night. See I have a whole bunch of tops piled in two drawers that I always neglect because when I get dressed I normally look in my overpacked closet and pick from there and forget I have a whole slew of clothes elsewhere. So I decided to take pictures of what's in those drawers so I can find and plan my outfits easier, without tearing through the drawers everday. Then I made a collage of all the tops together.

In an ideal world I would love to be able to Polyvore this stuff, and it's somethinG I am considering doing WHEN we get our new apartment. See, I want to buy a mannequin (they are like $100 or so) and use that to start planning my wardrobe, plus taking pictures of my clothes on that would look a lot more realistic, etc etc.

A thing I noticed though when really examining my clothes is that half of my stuff has an immediate "feel" or look (such as the red and white polka dot tank...to me it says va-va-voom 50's bombshell...you can't really tell from these photos but I assure you it does) and the other half is just "fat clothes." As in, the reason I bought it was so I wouldn't feel fat. Now that I am feeling less "fat" I am wondering where do these clothes belong? What is their place? It's super easy and acceptable to pair a flowy top with jeans but is that really a "look?" It's kind of just lazy dressing, which I admit I do often.

Another problem with the flowy babydoll tops (Oh man, i have so many) is that they can only be paired with one thing: skinny pants. You can't wear a babydoll top with a skirt and you can't wear it with widelegged pants cuz you'll just look too wide overall. I guess it could go well with shorts but I don't own any shorts. And I guess you could tuck a babydoll top into a skirt, but wouldn't it make it too lumpy and bumpy?

If anyone has any babydoll top advice, please insert below!

Anyway, until then I'll just print out this contact sheet and stamp it by my closet.

Whoops, I just wrote a lot more than I thought I would :)

Happy Munday

Friday, March 20, 2009

Inspired By: Simon and Garfunkel

Feeling Groooovy

By now you've probably realized I am stuck in the 60's and 70's with my favourite music choices. Guilty as charged!

I started listening to Simon and Garfunkel after hearing 'America' on the Almost Famous soundtrack (which was the soundtrack to my first trip to New Zealand in 2001). Of course, I had always been more than aware of the band, since again, it was boat music that I grew up on thanks to my dad. But it wasn't till later that I really started collecting all their albums...which then led me to collect all of Paul Simon's albums. I might even be a bigger fan of Paul Simon solo than in the duo - it's a different sound, for sure - but I decided to just group them into one.

My favourite Paul Simon songs are "Graceland," "50 Ways to Leave your Lover," "Kodachrome," "My Little Town"(performed with Garfunkel), "You can call me Al," with my absolute favourite being "Slip Sliding Away":

I know a woman, became a wife
These are the very words she uses to describe her life
She said a good day aint got no rain
She said a bad day is when I lie in the bed
And I think of things that might have been

This song and it's lyrics make so sad because it's so true. We're all slip sliding away as the years go on. Try so hard to rush and get somewhere, anywhere, all the while losing sight of what's in front of us.

Then there is the formidable duo (though I'm still unsure what Garfunkel's part was in all this since Simon still wrote and sang most songs).

My heart sinks (beautifully) when I listen to: The Boxer, Bridge Over Troubled Water, Old Friends/Bookends, Sound of Silence, Scarborough Fair/Canticle, El Condor Pasa (if I only could, I surely would).

My heart sings when I hear: America, Keep the Customer Satisfied, Fakin' it, Feeling Groovy, I am Rock, Homeward Bound, and of course, Cecilia. I wrote a whole script around that last song!

Simon and Garfunkel remind me of those "carefree" and romantisized days of the 60's and 70's, sunshine and flowers masking all the political turmoil. I like to this my outfit captured this: bright and cheery, in motion, dark clouds on the horizon.

Dress: ASOS; Flats: Kate Spade; Clutch + Belt: Forever 21; Gold bamboo racelet + agate earrings: Kenneth Jay Lane