Happy New Year’s Eve!
My “Blogging Year in Review” just arrived in my inbox from WordPress. How timely!
A few of my bests from the past year:
Beauty Product: Medieval lip color by Lipstick Queen
I love this sheer, flattering color so much! It wears light like a stain, but is packaged more conveniently in my opinion [fits perfect in my lipstick mirror/case]. Apparently I’m not the only one who is wild about this product, as it is notoriously difficult to find in-stock. I was on a waiting list for it at Blush Beauty Bar for months! #worthit
Hair Product: Spray wax by Sachajuan
Spray what?! Yes, I know. I had no idea that this styling product – which, BTW, I cannot pronounce – would change my follicle life forever when my hair fairy at Gold + Arrow used it on my mane just a few months ago. It was way more than I usually spend on such an item, but the hold is truly unique and I had to have it. NO REGRETS! I definitely recommend this for thick, curly/wavy hair; use on the second or third day after shampooing for optimal styling ease. The hold is strong but not crunchy or sticky… and it creates great “JBF hair” during those dry spells.
Best New Portland Store: tie, abrahams&duffy and Eden
I couldn’t choose between these two! Grateful to be able to feature both in the Local Alternatives series on NN.
abrahams&duffy – Granted this NE Alberta boutique is more of a “look with your eyes” establishment for me, but I still love going in and perusing the racks and chatting with the owners. If I were to envision the perfect closet for myself, I’d stuff it full of items from a&d for both work and causal wear. My sister is also a huge fan after her visit in October and I got her two pairs of earrings from here for Christmas [after stalking her a&d “likes” on Facebook, tee hee!]; one is pictured below, along with the plaid dress she bought from local line Bridge & Burn and the festive decor in the shop during the holiday season.
Eden – The sister store to N. Mississippi’s dreamy Flutter, Eden opened in the Pearl over the summer. I love this place because it exists as an oasis to its surroundings; the Pearl can sometimes seem stuffy and hoity toity, but one step into Eden and all is forgotten. The colors are bold and the patterns anything but subtle. Seemingly every surface is covered with wares: candles, lotion, coffee table books, jewelry, and of course, a small but stellar selection of vintage dresses and scarves.
Best Music: Bon Iver, Bon Iver
I’m no music critic, but this is my “alBUM of the year” based purely on number of plays. I think most fans were a bit wary about a Bon Bon release in June, but this was our office stand-by at work and got us through a particularly gloomy spring just fine. View more of the ethereal album art by Gregory Euclide here and read a Q&A about his process for creating these images for Vernon & Co.
Best Website: Twitter
I can’t believe it took me so long to hop on the Twit wagon! Twitter has essentially become my main online news source and I’ve discovered so many awesome and inspiring links, blogs, and people from my feed. Tweet, tweet, tweet, tweet, yeah!
For more opining [from the pros!] about Fashion & Style in 2011:
NYT’s Cathy Horyn “Recounts the Year in Fashion”
WWD’s very detailed, month-by-month breakdown “Fashion Moments in 2011”
I hope this past year was happy and healthy for you. Personally, I enjoyed so many great moments it’s difficult to wrap-up concisely, so I won’t try but rather list some words that represent my year: Neighborhood Notes, nails (nails, nails), magazines, old love/new love/deeper love(s), bigger apartment, new job, “professional wardrobe,” San Diego, Eugene, Indiana, Seattle x 2, writing, writing, writing. Thanks for sharing the ride.
Much love as you greet 2012!
#nowplaying Silver Jews Pandora Radio
Day after Christmas: Marked in my youth by immense sadness that another 12/25 was 364 days away- marked today by great joy that I have the day off work and can recoup alone post-travel/time change/lack of solid sleep. I started the day as I do seemingly every Dec. 26th with “Brick” by Ben Folds stuck in my head [“6 am, day after Christmas, I throw some clothes on in the dark..”]. Surely I’m not the only person that happens to, right? However you find yourself on this day, I hope that you and yours had a very merry whatever you celebrate/are still celebrating.
I took a bit of an Interwebz hiatus as indicated by my lack of posts. I have December off from NN commitments and it has been nice, but also… odd. I miss it and am curious to learn what changes await from them in 2012. I’ve struggled to put a name on the identity we create for ourselves on the world wide web (e-dentity? web-self? robot?) but whatever you want to call the online persona constructed to represent yourself – the tweets that come via your smartphone, the blog you update sporadically, the Instagram photos you edit & upload [guilty] – can become quite overwhelming for me in tough times. Strangely, it is this detached, often embellished representation of myself that I most immediately want to pull away from when I am feeling down. But “hide mode” is no good long-term and I’m feeling better so, without further #whitegirlproblems, a project!
Gratitude Box: Crafty project 2K11 [yes, there was only one…]
There are many reasons why I don’t consider myself to be “crafty. Mainly, not wanting to spend the money on such endeavors is usually reason number one. But I’m learning from all my friends on my Google Reeder that this is a silly excuse and that many projects detailed by impossibly adorable bloggettes use found objects or items that can be bought on the cheap at second-hand &/or antique stores. Lack of space was another big hindrance for me whilst living with roommates and in a studio apartment. I hated the feeling of immediately having to clean up a project even if I wasn’t finished; now that I have more space to spread out, this is also a lousy excuse. So for those keeping count, I’m 0-2 in valid reasons against my desire to be crafty. Enough!
I found this project via one of the aforementioned adorable blogs, Design*Sponge and you can view the entire DIY post here, titled “Vintage Postcard Calendar Journal.” It was suggested as a gift idea for the holidays and I sent it to my mom expressing my delight at the simple yet stylish way of recording events of the day. Since I journal so gosh darn much anyway, I thought if I in fact followed through on attempting this project, I’d make the purpose very specific. Thus, the idea of a Gratitude Box where each day I’d write a word, phrase, or short sentence expressing thanks. Each card has multiple lines, so the idea is to keep the box for years, making reflecting on life’s joys easy and organized.
A few snaps of our assemblage from antique store to counter top:
I hope the simplicity and ease of this project is enough to encourage me to try more, as I really enjoyed putting everything together and doing it alongside an enthusiastic pal [hi, mom!]. So many projects are adaptable to your needs and desires; make this as a gift, keep it for yourself, write down whatever you want to on the lines, it’s totally up to you!
#nowplaying Atlas Genius “Trojans”
Yet another tune I first heard via a Miss Moss playlist. I kinda hate how much I like this song as it’s way too peppy for how I’m feeling lately. Whatcanyado?
I’m sharing a photo that is entirely unremarkable in all aspects, except for the very obvious fact that there are two subjects:
Quick backstory: my paternal G’ma Hazel [we called her ‘Gran,’ RIP] gave me these diamond studs on my 16th birthday and I’ve worn them nearly everyday since. They were on my ears during my driving test, my high school graduation, the move to Portland, the night I wrote my first blog post. They are perfectly simple and go with everything and are my most treasured jewels that are mine [i.e. have not been handed down or bought second-hand/vintage].
All that said, I’ve almost lost them a hundred times. I take them off every night and put them “somewhere” in the bathroom for safe keeping until the next wear. On Saturday, I thought they were finally gone- for good this time. I was at a party and went to sweep my hair behind my left ear when I realized that my earring was not in. I panicked and left abruptly. I tore apart my bathroom and jewel closet to no avail. It was gone and it served me right for not picking a more protective resting place. I cried. Oh, cruel jewel karma!
Earlier that day, I’d gotten my roots touched up. After a few days of moping about my sentimental loss and exhausting all potential hiding places, I decided to go back to the salon and ask if anyone had seen my sweet earring. I figured why not, although I held little hope. I went in on my lunch break and there it was; promptly put into my palm by the cheerful woman at the front desk. I walked back to work in shock, yet my feet knew what was up because they skipped the whole way.
I am not as interested in hearing what walls would have to say if they could talk as I am in ponying up to a bar with a well-worn pair of earrings or someone’s wedding band. The jewels have heard all the juicy gossip, seen all the double-takes, the heartache, the make-ups and break-ups. These certainly know me well and I am grateful to have them back in my life.
Surely my Grandma Hazel angel had a part in this pre-Christmas Christmas miracle.
Ms. Wintour was interviewed on “CBS Sunday Morning” today to discuss Vogue’s 120th anniversary commemorative book of cover photographs AND the release of the magazine’s online archives [Who doesn’t have an extra $1,500 laying around?!]. I’m hoping my limited access as a subscriber will provide endless hours of zone-out daydream time. Always excitement and innovation from the best! Cheers,
#nowplaying “Six Months in a Leaky Boat” mix via Miss Moss
I’ve written before about my love for the blog Miss Moss; little did I know then that in addition to posting dreamy artwork and lovely garments, MM also shares personally assembled playlists with her blog reeders. Most feature songs and artists I’m already familiar with, but she arranges them in a most audibly delicious way.. AND she has also introduced me to a lot of new/new-to-me tunes [like this haunting Gotye tune]. This particular mix includes Pink Floyd, Van Morrison, and Fleetwood Mac- hope you enjoy as much as I do!
****oh and even more awesome, all past mixes are available for download here****
‘Tis the season for getting & giving gifts. Seemingly every website, blog, and/or magazine has compiled their own version of a “gift guide” to help the clueless navigate the big bad world of retail. I rarely find such advice helpful, mostly because the suggestions are often way out of my price range. The best gifts are spontaneously found, thoughtfully considered, and as unique as the recipient.
I was out shopping this past weekend with my friend Lauren and we popped into Magpie, a mutual favorite downtown vintage shop, on the hunt for something sparkly for our respective workplace holiday parties. Of course, our focus quickly diverted and I found this great winter dress from the 1960s. It can be difficult to find dresses warm enough to wear in the cold months without piling cardigans and scarves on top. A cozy, long-sleeved dress is a score, and a vintage one that fits (!) is gold.
The quality of this photo sucks balls – sorry, iPoseCity – but it’s the best I can do until I net enough profit to hire a live-in servant to take my blog photos for me. The top is argyle with the sweetest asymetrical collar in the same cream color of the cuffs. The black skirt is A-line and has POCKETS. Black tights, yellow heels, gold locket: time to scoot to Sterling Cooper Draper Price….er……work.
Lauren found a saucy Fendi sweater from the 80s and we waltzed triumphantly to the counter with our finds. As I dug for my wallet, she grabbed my dress and proceeded to buy it for me as a Christmas present. I resisted at first, but she won and I relented in shock and joy. Not that she wouldn’t be the type to do such a thing – don’t get me wrong – it was just such perfect timing and totally spontaneous. The perfect gift. I am grateful.
I guess what I’m trying to convey is that gift giving doesn’t need to be a big hubabuloo with last-minute panic and crinkled gift guides torn from whatever magazine. Seek out and seize the opportunities that arise everyday to treat the ones you love with a spur-of-the-moment treat. If you’re anything like me it’ll mean more than any pre-packaged, Oprah endorsed tchotchke. Plus, wrapping paper is a waste of time/environmental resources anyway.
Happy Holiday Shopping!
#nowplaying Trey Songz featuring Nicki Minaj “Bottoms Up”
[yeah, GarbanzoGreen & I have been Zumba-ing this week….]
Much love in this last month of 2011!