Hello, readers! Have you missed me? Aside from filling orders, I’ve been busy child-rearing and other related activities. But I’ve missed you. So, let’s get back to it, shall we?
I’ve recently been thinking about a theme that often comes up for me in my line of work, and that’s the distinction between fashion and style. Have you ever looked at images like the ones below, and thought ‘That looks cool, but how does someone like me pull that off?’. The short answer is: In your own way.
Sadly and amazingly Fast Fashion stores have made most trends available to us. You may wonder if you know how to put these looks together and if you can pull it off. BUT what you should really be asking yourself is, should you? For example, I love girlie retro silhouettes, flirty skirts, and red lipstick, but none of those work on me. I feel like a kid itching her way through church clothes and ready to jump back into overalls and play. It’s just not me. I’ve grown to know my body and my boho style, and when I play to that, I feel much more confidant and sexy than when I try to make myself something I’m not.
When you see a certain look in a magazine, blog, trashy celeb weekly, etc.. what is it that you like about it? What do you see of yourself in that look? In the look above, I like the cozy girl-next-door vibe of the big sweater, but the sexiness of everything else being sleek and revealed. Realistically, though, I’m not going to pick my son up from school in that outfit, and if I didn’t work in the fashion industry, I wouldn’t show up to work like that either. So you use the runways, magazines, and fashionistas as inspiration and translate the looks into something that works for your body, your personal style and your lifestyle.
‘Fashion’ is a craze, a fad, and a business industry. ‘Style’ is a manner and an approach to that industry. Your style is how you make your physical look an extension of who you are. In the words of Mark Twain, “naked people have little or no influence on society”. So since you have to get dressed, make yourself feel the most bold, the most confident, and the most YOU that you can.
Thanks for the lovely write-up and for helping me spread the word about Chicks Against Child Brides!
I was truly saddened by Fashionista’s “A Tale of Plastic Surgery, Scandal, and Pageant Prisoners” yesterday. The accompanying email features an image of the Miss Korea Pageant contestants, looking shockingly similar, and the article examines the plastic surgery epidemic that accounts for the clone-like results.
They claim that double eyelid surgery has become so commonplace there, that Koreans hardly even consider it a surgery anymore. On further investigation, I came across a devastating picture, which I’ve decided not to post, of a once very beautiful woman who deformed herself by injecting cooking oil into her face.
What has become of our world when we’ve boiled down beauty to a look so specific, that we need to transcend ethnicity in order to achieve it? Don’t you remember those Benetton ads, when for a brief moment we lived in sweatshirts and celebrated the differences that our ethnicities bring to our face and world?
Personally, I look at the image of the Korean beauty pageant contestants, and I don’t know or care who’s the most beautiful. They’ve intentionally covered up all the character that I find most beautiful in a face. To me, there’s nothing sexier than a woman confidently laughing, or owning an unusual feature. Yes, the contestant are all exceedingly beautiful by modern standards, but what do they tell us about themselves?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that I’m opposed to plastic surgery. In fact, I was in an accident when I when 19, and I gladly had a bump on my nose removed when the doctor fixed the adjacent bump from the accident. I asked the doctor if he could just give me a button nose while he was at it. He actually said no. He said that, while it would look pretty, I would no longer look like me. I’ve never loved my nose, but he sure was right about that.
What I’m saying is, perhaps, we should just laugh a little more, rock out our gap teeth (in Lauren’s case) or a Jewish nose (in my own), and be thankful for the faces God/Nature/Ethnicity/Genetics/Life has given us.
“I‘m not part of the cultural elite. I’m a down-home girl. Always have been, always will be.” – Lauren Hutton
For those of you who still get the back-to-school shopping jitters, here are a few ideas, all under $200, to get you started with Fall accessories.
Have you ever noticed that girls in movies, regardless of the character’s income level, have perfectly soft and form-flattering loungewear and pajamas? Obviously they’re never see-through, and they never have nipolitis, but c’mon! Your character would never have spent that much money on sweatpants… PS- where are they from?
From Venus et Jude
You may ask “Does it matter if I look cute when I’m lounging at home?” If you don’t live alone and there are several months of the year (9 in my case) when you plan on wearing loose and mostly jersey-knit garb, than you may want to step-it up.
Here are some ideas by category. (Disclaimer: I didn’t choose for price.)
1) Straight-Up Comfy. I don’t care about anything else. Pass me the remote.
2) Will probably get you lucky, and you’ll look like you weren’t trying
3) Loungewear you can get away with on the street… At the grocery store- not the club.
While reading ‘Sense and Sensibility’ last month, I found myself wondering what is it that’s so sexy about these drawn-out Will They?-Won’t They? relationships that consume the plot of most Jane Austen novels (in addition to sub-plots pertaining to the financial & social ramifications of these unions). Like many a rom-com, we know how it’s going to turn out, but just love to vicariously experience the jittery build-up of a crush slowly manifested. Garnish it with inhibited dress and delicate language, and the love-hate flirtation becomes a lot more seductive.
So, while other style blogs bring you the weather-appropriate bare-all looks for this 4th of July, I bring you a look I’ll call The Art of Discretion.
Like macrame and book-binding, soapmaking seems a pursuit meant only for the super crafty. But don’t be fooled– it’s actually as easy as making pasta. ..More or less. Last night, my friend, Hannah (of Hannah Bakery) brought a crew over to my place for this tutorial as part of her month-long birthday learning series. Let me give you a quick run-through of our exploration into this addictive and hygenic past time…
Things you’ll need…
Double boiler or crock pot: … Because you want to melt the soap base slowly. I got this double boiler for about $12 at Ikea. Alternatively you can buy this one online. A crock pot would be better if you were making an absurd amount of soap. It seems messier to me to too.
Shea Butter, Glycerin, Goat Milk, or Beeswax base: … You can buy these at the same craft stores. I also like a company called Millcreek Soy Wax that I usually order candle-making supplies from. (Candle-making is VERY similar to soap making, so if you’re interested, read my tutorial.)
Color: … There are special soap-dyes (Red, Yellow, Blue) that you can buy at the craft store. I have food coloring shown in the picture (below), but I didn’t end up using it. Food coloring purportedly does not work as well for soap-making.
Scent: You can use any essential oil for this. I like ones like rosehip and tea tree that are known to be good on the skin, as well as ones for their fragrance, such as jasmine and lavender, or peppermint for face soap.
Other Ingredients: My favorite, hands down, is olive oil. After spending some time in Spain and seeing how beautiful and elastic the women’s skin is, I’m a true believer in the moisturizing properties olive oil, especially face. You can also use rolled oats, dried lavender, rosemary, honey, almond oil, etc.. My weird, fiber-obsessed friend used barley. It actually looked pretty cool too.
Let’s Get Started!
Ok, so you have your materials. Here’s the super-easy run-down:
Step 1. Fill the bottom pot of the double boiler about 1/3 full, and bring to a boil.
Step 2. Add your soap base to the top boiler and cover to expedite the melting process. Stir occasionally. You can use a single base or mix bases. Just keep in mind that any amount of an opaque base will make your soap opaque. So, if you want your soap to be clear, stick to clear, glycerine-type bases.
Step 3. When the soap base is melted or getting close to melted, add your color, fragrances, and any oils or dissolvables (ie, honey). Remember, essential oils are strong, so you don’t need more than a few drops. A lot of it is trial and error too, because some oils are a lot more potent than others.
Step 4: Pour! I’ll elaborate here…
You can fill the mold all the way with your concoction. Or you can fill partially for a layered soap. If you fill all the way, don’t touch it or move the mold for the first 15 minutes. A normal-sized mold should take only about 40 minuted to harden enough for you to remove it. You can stick it in the freezer too, though I don’t recommend that if you’re using honey (it will be hard to get out).
For layered soap, you can now make and add a different concoction, or add a layer of something aesthetic or textured.
When you pop the soap out of the mold (“Hold it upside down and let gravity help”, insisted Hannah last night.), it may come out with what’s called flashing. (See image below). Flashing is a thin layer of soap from where it spread out of the mold. Just cut it off with a knife.
You can also play around with placing natural elements in the bottom of the mold, adding a thin layer of melted soap (to keep your design in place), and then filling the mold.
And voila! That should get you more than started. Last night, we had a blast making these. See some of our other creations from last night…
Hannah and her barley/silicone implant soap.
Stay clean, everyone!
…. In other words, what I really want. Before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s break it down like this. Does the mom in question have children living at home, making a mess, needing food, baths, TLC, rides to a friends’ house/birthday party/soccer practice? OR, does said mother need some post-child-rearing appreciation for all the aforementioned mothering she carried out in earlier years? Actually, it doesn’t matter. They both need you to show them the love, right? And don’t forget your mother-in-law, who (hopefully) has welcomed you into her family as a another child.
Hope you read my blog, family!