Old School Js Like Beyoncé’s Fiancé

Friday, I’m in love…with Etsy. I had seen this post on Pinterest which made me long for a Feyoncé shirt to call my own. Luckily, I located this shop that hooked me up with a great tank (it is July, after all).

Fiancé shirt, boyfriend jeans.
Fiancé shirt, boyfriend jeans.


The following photo, which was something of an outtake is the only one in which you can see my fakey-fake ring that I’ve been wearing to numb the pain of my real one not being back from the jeweler.

Mani is Essie's Lilacism. I want to write a love song to this nail polish.
Mani is Essie’s Lilacism. I want to write a love song to this nail polish.

The fake ring is kind of a wacky story. As a kid, I spent a lot of time at my grandmother’s house. She and I are pretty close. One day, snooping through her jewelry box, I found this ring and snagged it, thinking it was the prettiest thing I’d ever seen. I kept it for years, through various moves, truly thinking it was my grandmother’s engagement ring, deeply ashamed of having swiped it. My old job was located next to a jeweler—they tested the ring to discover that the diamond was a fake but the gold was real (although low-quality and not worth much). I developed theories about the ring. Was she given a fake? Was it a replica of her ring from the sixties? How did this fake engagement ring find its way into the back of a tiny drawer in my grandmother’s jewelry box?

When I finally got engaged for real, I went to tell the news to my grandmother. I decided it was a good time to come clean about my thievery at least a decade prior. Instead of being mad, she thought it was hilarious—apparently the ring had been my aunt’s…and no one had known that it wasn’t real! Drama! My aunt has been divorced for probably nearly 20 years, so it’s water under the bridge, but it’s still fascinating that this little bizarre artifact found its way into my hands. My grandmother laughed again and told my mother, “Imagine if she’d made off with a real diamond!” It was kind of a cute family moment.

My actual engagement ring is my mother’s from the nineties. We’re having the diamond reset into the ring (it was removed to be weighed & graded), and having the ring dipped by some sort of magic/alchemy to be white gold instead of yellow. It’s a marquise cut with tiny chip diamonds along the sides—my totally unique dream ring. But for now, I’ve got my fakey to help everything feel real.

In any case, thanks, Etsy, for making my engagement dreams come true, Mom, for saving her ring to pass down to me, and Grandma/Aunt Michelle for helping keep me sane while I wait for my ring for another week.

top/Etsy Tees Store, jeans/Banana Republic, cluth/Rebecca Minkoff, shoes/Seychelles
top/Etsy Tees Store, jeans/Banana Republic, cluth/Rebecca Minkoff, shoes/Seychelles

First—lemme take a selfie.

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“Selfie Saturday” is kind of a thing on Instagram. It certainly hasn’t achieved the ubiquity of #throwbackthursday or anything, but I’ve been known to post a gratuitous and appropriately-hashtagged weekend selfie on occasion. I thought that today I’d participate, but in a way to allows me to discuss my own lifelong issues with my body and self-image.

I started this blog to post my recipes & interior decoration, but since I work and take a summer class, I haven’t really had the time to make good on that mission statement. These outfit posts have been a low-maintenance way for me to practice using the WordPress interface and to get into the habit of sharing my life.

Sharing requires both vulnerability and honesty, and I don’t think I could continue to post pictures of myself in good conscience without revealing that they are a celebration. Even a year ago, I wouldn’t have had the confidence to make images of my body public. I have recently lost weight—not much, but enough that clothes have begun to fit me differently and I feel healthier and more secure. The first time I could button a pair of size 4 pants, I nearly died of incredulity. I have never, by definition, been overweight, but I have carried anywhere between 10 to 20 extra pounds of weight like a security blanket for years. Finally, though, I was able to settle into a routine of activity and eating that my body responded to positively. I also began taking anti-depressants, which seem to only have aided me in my body’s process of finding its equilibrium.

I struggle with the fact that I feel so much better thinner, because I have battled various eating issues my whole life, and my way to cope was to embrace body positivity. I’m finally at home in my own skin, because my body has found a weight that is healthy for it. Not because I’m “skinny”. However, there’s a certain guilt that comes with that. I almost feel disallowed from having insecurities. But I also won’t apologize for letting myself love my body. The goal of body positivity is to get to a place where you love yourself and don’t dwell on self-loathing and criticism fostered by socially-constructed ideas of beauty. It’s hard out here for girls, even if they *do* fall within the parameters of Western ideals of beauty. But that’s another topic for another post.

These pictures, these clothes I never thought I’d wear—they celebrate me letting go of more than a decade of negative thoughts. It feels so great not to feel shame.

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top/Gap, pants/Gap, shoes/ZIGIsoho  Just a simple work outfit. I wore Keds instead of platforms earlier though (like a normal person).

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Friday, I’m In #LOVEWINS

Today 5/9 of the Supreme Court of the United States made marriage equality the law of the land. I’m so proud to be an American on this historic day, as our country joins the civilized world in granting same-sex couples the rights and dignity they so deserve. Our kids are going to learn about this decision in school one day.

Photo from the NY Times. Click through for link to the article.
Photo from the NY Times. Click through for link to the article.

Today was also great for me because I booked our flights to San Francisco (which felt even more amazing in light of this news)! San Francisco was the spark that ignited this momentous change. I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to visit there for the first time since 1999. I was just a kid then!

It’s only July, but I can confidently say that 2015 has been one of the best years of my life. I’ve experienced so much personal growth, so much amazing music, and such incredible progress. Then again, it’s difficult not to be optimistic when something of this magnitude occurs. I’m sure this decision has caused all of its fervent supporters to reflect gratefully upon their privilege.

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This floral top was, unfortunately, the closest thing I own to rainbow colors, so I wore it proudly (and loudly, because I mixed patterns and wore bright pink shoes & lipstick). I always dress deliberately, but today I may have gone a little symbolically overboard. My boyfriend was sweet in indulging me in a brief sunset photo session. I wonder how long it will take him to get sick of this.

Go give someone you love a big kiss today. I certainly will.

top/secondhand--Christie Dupree, shorts/Kate Spade Saturday, glasses/Warby-Parker
top/secondhand–Christie Dupree, shorts/Kate Spade Saturday, glasses/Warby-Parker

Report-ing for Duty

Today I gave my final oral report in my seminar! It took me all morning to prepare (since I was busy fighting off panic attacks about it). From all appearances it went really well. Probably because I fueled up with this beforehand:

Before the hot sauce onslaught.
Before the hot sauce onslaught.

I actually took of photo of my boyfriend’s plate, since mine was covered in unattractive hot sauce splatters. This sort of thing is a pretty typical brunch for us. I tend to make a lot of “deconstructed” sandwiches because my boyfriend isn’t a big bread-eater. However, even he is weak to the powers of the pretzel bagel. Bless its existence.

Once I felt that my report was adequately ready for the voyage to school, I took a quick study break and made Fig take pictures of me. He was more than happy to acquiesce, but rather offended that I wouldn’t be posting his ever-artful “Hipstamatics” to the blog.

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I had so many books and devices to carry that I had to pack my weekender to get them all to school. It actually looks like a somewhat reasonable bag in these photos: be not fooled. The thing is bigger than my torso. I could probably fit inside it. The bag was so heavy that the straps were showing a little distress…I’ll have to be kinder to it in the future. My shoulder is still feeling the pain. It was worth it to get to publicly geek out about Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, and feminism. For a grade. Now I just have to write 10-15 cogent pages about it. *skull emoji*

I even hammed it up and read Sexton’s “A Curse Against Elegies” aloud (I occasionally show evidence of my brief affiliation with my high school’s drama department—sue me). The following photo (which Fig said I’d hate and wouldn’t post) might be evidence of that:

top/Michael Kors, cords/Gap, shoes/Steve Madden, bag/French Connection
A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do–and sometimes, that’s matching her lipstick to her shoes.

top/Michael Kors (scored on clearance for practically nothing!), cords/Gap, shoes/Steve Madden, bag/French Connection

Life-Swap

I took a few half-days at work this month so that I could take a night class. I have just enough time in between to drive home, eat lunch, and change before heading back out on the road.

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As I’ve previously mentioned, my dress code at work (which I must admit is pretty permissive compared to other dress codes I’ve had to observe) is primarily black, so on “school days” I do a mid-day outfit switch so that my pasty skin can soak up some Vitamin D. I’m for-reals medically deficient, so it’s been a balancing act between getting adequate sun exposure and practicing “safe sun.” And playing in the sun is a lot more fun than swallowing the bright green horse-pill supplement that I have to take.

So grateful to have a big wooden porch this summer.
So grateful to have a big wooden porch this summer.

I noticed a funny thing when I looked at these photos this evening. Both my work-appropriate outfit and my life outfit today featured Madewell & Keds. Where’s my endorsement deal, universe? I could totally be a spokeswoman for tiny adorable sneakers. I’m almost 5’8″, so flats and sneaks are more of a way of life than a fashion choice. #tallgirlproblems, right?

The rest of my evening will be spent finishing off last night’s Vinho Verde, watching Orange Is The New Black instead of working on my research, and then eventually capitulating to my education, making an irresponsible cup of night coffee, and sucking it up. Schoolwork can be tedious, but that minor annoyance is exponentially exacerbated by procrastination, something at which I excel. Here’s hoping I get inspired by the feminist muses to thoughtfully analyze elegiac poetry!

I'm not really sure what my mouth is doing here, but when your curl game is strong, you gotta to document that shit.
I’m not really sure what my mouth is doing here, but when your curl game is strong, you gotta to document that shit.

top/Madewell, shorts/Banana Republic, shoes/Keds, bag/Kelsi Dagger BK, sunnies/vintage (aka the ones I wear in every picture), earrings/Kate Spade

Mondays Made Well

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I’m lucky enough to have been free of “The Mondays” for the past few years, since I work on the weekends. Monday is my day off, and it’s a rare opportunity to break free of my all-black work wardrobe and have fun with prints and color. I’ve been lusting after Madewell (and its mama-brand, J.Crew) for years, but rarely can I justify the expense. So it was a total blessing that my work got in a huge shipment of Madewell goods, which heavily features horizontal stripes (my pattern spirit animal).

This “BEACH” striped top fortuitously matches my red Toms and navy shorts for a nautical-gone-casual vibe. Also featured is my Kelsi Dagger BK perforated leather bucket bag–an early birthday gift from my sweet mom.

top/Madewell, shorts/Loft, shoes/Toms, bag/Kelsi Dagger BK, sunnies/vintage
top/Madewell, shorts/Loft, shoes/Toms, bag/Kelsi Dagger BK, sunnies/vintage

I wish I could say I were using this day off to go to the beach and enjoy the blissful sun. Unfortunately for me, I have to research literary criticism for my poetry seminar tonight. Only 1 more week until school’s out!