Thursday, May 31, 2012

Chocolate Lolita

So after having a pretty pissy day this past Monday (didn't have such a great day at work, and got two job rejection emails), I decided to cheer myself up by trying on the black and white Lolita skirt that I bought from For those of you who don't know, Milanoo is a Chinese wholesale web based store that sells discounted Asian clothing brands and styles.

I have had a fascination with the Lolita style since reading Kamikaze Girls a couple of years ago for a course on Modern Japanese History, and have been flirting with the idea of actually buying some of the Lolita clothing on Milanoo. About a month ago, fueled by my freshly deposited tax refund, I decided to buy this black and white skirt! The skirt was only $28, and the total, with shipping was $43, which isn't bad considering that a lot of stores sell clothes for that price anyway. My only complaint with buying wholesale is that the processing time can be way more than the actual delivery time. It took two weeks for the order to process, but only a week to get to my apartment in America from Beijing, which meant that I didn't get my skirt until almost a month after I ordered it. Being a very, very impatient person, you can imagine that this did not fly well with me, but I love the skirt, so I can't really complain. Another thing is that I should have gotten a Small instead of a XSmall. It's hard for me to shop online because my measurements are so weird. The skirt has a high waist, but I only measured by my hips, which would mean that I wear a XSmall, instead of measuring by me waist, which would mean that I wear a Small. Of course, I wasn't about to send it back to wait who knows how long for the correct size to get sent, and the difference is only two inches, so I can still wear it comfortably. I actually kinda like it tighter in the waist, as it acts as a kind of corset, and makes my waist look a little thinner.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Dress to the Maxi

It seems that Summer is officially Maxi season. I'm actually not a big fan of Maxi dresses. Sure, they're flowy and loose, which is great for hat weather, but they're also puffy towards the waist, which I find usually makes women look pregnant. Of course, if you are pregnant, then it's ok to look pregnant, but if you aren't, (and have absolutely no intentions of ever getting pregnant), then it's not so great. Also, most of the maxi dresses I've seen have been super colorful, and featuring tons of patterns, the two things that I dislike the most in clothing. However, I happen to get an email one day from Milanoo showing some of their maxi dresses, and I completely fell in love! I actually really, really like these dress, and could totally see myself buying and wearing, but unfortunately I've just put myself on a spending freeze, so this will have to wait for later.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Clockwork Couture

This is going to be somewhat short post today. I've been re-energized in my job search, so there is a pretty good chance that my posts my be a little shorter nowadays. Anyway, I've decided to showcase my clockwork/steampunkish jewelry.

This first one is a charm necklace that bought from Claire's a while back. I absolutely fell in love with it the moment I saw it. I especially like the crown (I've been looking for some nice crown design jewelry to show off my aristocratic side), and the locket (I have always wanted a vintage style locket). I have no idea what kind of pictures I should put in it though (maybe my cat)! The clock on this one is fake, but still super cute!

Next is my vintage pocket watch. My mom actually bought this for me from nomorerack a couple of weeks ago for $15, the regular price being around $80. I have always wanted a pocket watch, even though they are traditionally for men. The only downside to buying a pocket watch is that they don't come with instructions. Honestly, I think it's silly to assume that people living in the 21st Century know how to operate a pocket watch just because their buying one. However, after some Googling, I was able to find out how to wind and set a pin-style pocket watch. Unfortunately, you have to wind it everyday (which of course I'll forget to do), otherwise the watch will get behind in the time, but at least I won't have to worry about getting replacement batteries and such. At the same time, though, I'm glad we have modern conveniences, like watches with batteries.

This is the outfit I wore to work with my pocket watch. I decided to go for a Victorian men's outfit to fit my pocket watch, but still with elements of femininity. The vest and pants came from New York & Company, which is where I get most of my pants for work, because they sell high quality petite business clothes. The striped, short-sleeve button down came from Joyce Leslie, a very versatile fashion boutique. I also wore my key necklace to go along with the vintage look.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Deep Blue Something

In case you haven't noticed, which you probably haven't, I'm not on of those people who like to add random colors to their otherwise monochromatic/dichromatic outfits in order to make the color pop. For instance, like wearing a black dress and then wearing yellow or red shoes or accessories. I know this is "fashionable," so I've tried it a few times, but it just didn't feel right, like wearing two different colored socks on purpose or something. Well, call me boring it you want to, but I like my outfits to be color coordinated. Case in point, this outfit that I wore a couple of weeks ago. I got a lot of compliments on it at work, so color coordinating must not be all that bad.

My centerpiece, so to speak, was the blue sweater from Wet Seal that I showed in a previous post. I wore pants chocolate brown stretch pants with it, to match the brown belt. Then I put on blue eyeshadow. First, I put on Sunberry (I just love make up color names, don't you?) shade from Lancome on the lids, then a sparkly blue mark. eyeshadow on the area just below my brows. Last, I put Avon's True Color Warm Black eyeshadow on the crease of my eyelids.

For accessories, I put on my dolphin blue cat's eye necklace that I bought from Shadora, and my cuff bracelet and spiral ring with blue beads that I bought from Claire's way back when I was in middle school. I know that Claire's and Icing by Claire's are really market towards the preteen/teen age group, but they have really nice, unique accessories for super low prices. I've been going to these stores to get the majority of my jewelry and handbags since I was about 14, and honestly, I think their selection is better than what a lot of more expensive specialty stores offer.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Life After College

*Warning: Very Image Heavy and Wordy Post*
May 19th officially marks my one year graduation anniversary! The only reason I really thought about it was because I'm still working on campus and graduation is only a week or so away. All the talk about graduation and events that's been going around the office where I work got me started thinking about how my life has changed over the last year. Honestly, the changes I've experience since graduating college have probably been unconventional, compared to most people's anxieties after college.

For me, the biggest adjustment I've had to come to terms with has been the lack of order, or structured progress that my life now has. This isn't to say that I feel that I feel that my life does not have purpose or meaning, I just feel that it is not progressing towards any particular plan. Every since I was about 4 years old and in Pre-K, my main goal in life has been to make it to the next grade; get through elementary school and go to middle school, get through middle school and go to high school, get through high school and go to college. Now that college is over, and nothing is really planned out for me, I really have no idea what to do with myself.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Tax Refund Fueled Shopping

I just spent my tax refund rather wantonly on clothes about a week or so ago, instead of using for something responsible, such as saving up to possible move out on my own. Part of my spending enthusiasm stems from the fact that this was my first tax refund, since this is the first time I had made enough money working to actually get a refund (my previous jobs had been as a student or through unpaid internships), even though it wasn't a large amount.

I went shopping planning on buying a pair of shoes and one dress, but nearly $200 later, I had accumulated some great additions to my wardrobe. First, I went to Call It Spring and immediately saw the kind of shoes I have been looking for for the last 6 months at least. I've been trying to find some blush/beige shows, but all the other ones I've found were $50 and up, and I have a problem spending more the $40 on shoes, even if I can easily afford it. These were perfect and were only $39.99. The strange thing about the shoes is that the pair that fit me perfectly were a size US 7, but all the other shoes I wear are a size US 8.

Next, I went to Body Central outlet store to see if they had a dress I saw on their online shop, because I couldn't tell how it was shaped in the picture, and I wanted to try it on. The Body Central outlet store really isn't may favorite. I mean, I absolutely love the Body Central online shop (that's actually where I get most of my tops), but the physical store has a completely different style of clothing, which isn't at all my style. Unfortunately, the dress wasn't there, but I did find this white lace long-sleeve bolero jacket.This is a close up of the material, because for some reason the full shot of the jacket was super blurry and didn't come out right.

The bulk of my clothes came from West Seal, though. I had always heard of Wet Seal, and had seen it in malls, but I had never been impressed with the clothes that were on display enough to actually go inside. I only went this time out of curiosity. If you've ever been to a Wet Seal store, you'll know what I mean when I say that they have a very...different. Overall, I can't see myself buying more clothes from there, although I did find a white lace tube top that I can wear to work under a blazer, two leopard print and lace tanks, and two sweaters that were on clearance for $3 each. 

The good thing about living above the Mason-Dixon line now is that you can wear sweaters in May!

The bulk of my money was spent on this super chic, yet vintage-inspired dress from Venus. The dress is usually $59, but I was able to order it during the one day Cinco de Mayo sale for $47.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Know Thy Self

So far, job searching has made me feel like this
I'm beginning to realize that the hardest person to know is yourself. You just get so caught up in being "you," and being completely saturated and surrounded by "you," that you never really bother to define "you." This actually remind me of a discussion in a course I took on narratology. We were reading a short story in which the main character referred to the audience he was speaking to in the second person. Our professor asked us, in his super cool British accent, the question, "Who is this character "You"?" At this point in my life, what with graduation, and all the informal career counseling I've been getting for the past month, I feel like I am constantly being asked this question, not only by others, but also by myself.

Obviously, getting a job is the next step, but what kind of job is the question that now plagues me.  I've been working part-time temp for over six months now for two reasons: the jobs I was interviewing for weren't hiring me, and I had no idea where else to find work. Coming from a relatively poor, working class family (I was the first in my family to go to college), even with an education from a top university, it's still hard for me separate out the conceptual differences between a "job" and a "career." A job is "a paid position of regular employment," basically something that you do because you need to make money. Usually with a job, you will do work, or work for a company, that you have not real vested interest in. On the other hand, a career is "an occupation undertaken for a significant period of a person's life and with opportunities for progress," and usually involving "special training." With a career, you usually have a specific field, or expertise, that you want to work in. I keep looking for "jobs" because that's all everyone I know well (parents, close relatives) have ever had, and I am not particularly interested in one thing, making a career focus very difficult at this point.

In the office where I'm working now, there is a graduating student worker who is also a History major, and is also having a hard to finding a job. Of course, the economy plays a big part in this, but the other part of the problem is the trouble that liberal arts major have getting hired in America. Even companies that are non-profit, or not in a business field, would rather hire someone with a management of finance degree, than someone with a liberal arts degree. I've heard that it's the exact opposite in Europe. But, back to the subject at hand. This other student has been going to Career Services, but is finding it very frustrating. I know exactly how he feels. I went to Career Services, and sent emails to them for advice/questions from about April to September of last year; nearly 6 months. In no way am I saying that using Career Service is a waste of time, but I think they are more helpful if you already know what you want to do. They can point you to job sites for specific fields and industries, and advise you on the next step to take, and so forth. But, if you have absolutely no idea, like me and countless others, then it probably won't help you.

I remember going there to get advise on the kind of career I should consider. The career counselor saw that I was a History major, and said that I should look into something involving research, writing, or editing, because those are some of the major characteristics of history course work. I did do an internship after I graduated that involved all of these things, and I absolutely hated it; it was the most boring job I have ever had. Instead, it's the jobs where I'm being active, and all over the place, and constantly interacting with people that I've liked the most. Through a good bit of job/internship trial and error, along with the informal career counseling I've been getting, I have found that it was not only the writing, but being able to develop and communicate my ideas/interpretations, and working against time and a deadline that I liked about being a History major, not so much the research and the editing. I think career services needs to realized that liberal arts, especially, don't line up with specific skills/occupations the same way more qualitative majors, such as with engineering, management, etc. Their good at selling a lot of fluff and encouragement, but not a lot of helpful substance.

After I total of 3 hours talking with 3different people within the university, I found out more about myself, and what I'm looking for in a career than nearly a year going to career services. Although certain things my seem rather obvious, like how I like to work in a fast-paced environment, and how I like international things, I had never thought about them being part of my personality before, and probably would never have if I had not talked to the right people. Instead of just asking, "What do you like to do?/What did you major in?", they asked questions like "What about doing this did you like?", "What about this previous experience/interest do you like?" It is these kind of deep questions, and personal motive prying that really get at the meat of the matter, and then help you to figure out what it is that you really want for yourself. Hopefully, armed with tons more knowledge about me and what I want, my job searching will be more fruitful and catered, instead of just applying for whatever I find out there.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Quiet Company

I've just discovered my newest favorite band: Quiet Company! It all happened while I was on Grooveshark, actually trying to hear "Bad Romance," by Lady Gaga. Even though I have my own account, Grooveshark now makes you watch videos before your music plays, in an effort to keep Grooveshark up and running for free. The only way out of this is to pay for a subscription. Now, as much as I like Grooveshark and what they do, I'm still not willing to pay, so I have to live through the ads (my ad blocker plus doesn't really help because Grooveshark has now found a way to bypass it when it comes to video ads). The ads are pretty short (you can close them after 10 seconds, or continue to watch), so I don't really mind it much.

I usually stop the ads after the mandatory 10 seconds because they're often product advertisements, but this was the first time that I had ever seen a music video play instead. Being always on the lookout for new music and bands, I decided to watch the whole thing, and boy am I glad I did! "You, Me, & The Boatman" is definitely one of the best indie rock/alternative songs I have heard in a long, long time. It brings back a lot of nostalgia for me of my days when I was into The Bravery and Hawthorne Heights, but this song is much more whimsical and less emo than those, in my opinion.  Maybe like mixing Modest Mouse with Lifehouse.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Mosaic Effects Nail Polish

Since nail art posts seem to be all the rage these days, I thought I'd jump on the band wagon too. I've never been too big an nail art myself due to the fact that a) I have very small fingers and nails, b) I don't have the patience, or steadiness, to do it myself, and c) I'm too cheap to get it done professionally (still waiting on that rich husband). Besides, the last time I got my nails done, the people there said that they could only do nail art on my big toe, because the other nails were too small, although I think that was more of an excuse to not do the extra work.

Anywho..., I've been using Avon's Mosaic Effects top coat nail polish. I love it because it's easy to use (all you have to do is put it on over your completely dry nail polish and let it dry), and you get super cool effects! At first I though the top coat only worked with Avon's Nail Wear Pro, which is what I bought it with, but then I tried it with some other nail polish and it worked perfectly with those as well! Unfortunately, the Mosaic Effects top coat only comes in black and white, but, depending on the color of the nail polish you use, you can still create some great looks. The trick to getting the crackle mosaic effect is that you have to apply the top coat on kind of heavy, and not overlap with the brush strokes, or adding a second coat. If you put it on too thin, then the effect will look more like streaks (unless that's what you want), and if you overlap, the newer coat will over lap the first, causing the effects to not show through. It takes a little practice at first, but in the end it's completely worth it!

Because my nails are so soft that they peel and split, I use Sally Henson's Hard as Nails to strengthen my nails, and keep them from breaking a splitting so easily. I know a lot of experts say that by using nail hardening nail polish on top of your nails doesn't actually make them stronger, I have noticed that my nails don't peel and break as much since using the Sally Henson product. But you can decide for yourself.

For this look, I used these products in the order listed below:
  1. Sally Henson Hard as Wraps "Plum" nail polish
  2. White Mosaic Effects Top Coat
  3. Sally Hanson Hard as Wraps UV Top Coat "Clear," to add shine and protection

Friday, May 11, 2012


Haaa! If you though this post was going to be about the study of past and present cultures and societies, and that I had just spelled the word wrong, you shall be sorely disappointed. Instead, this is a post about another fashion magazine that has fallen into my hands.

Honestly, I hate reading magazines of any kind for one reason, and one reason only: there is no plot. I feel that if you're going to write something as long as a magazine, there should be a nice, thick juicy plot to hold your attention, but that's just me. When it comes to fashion magazines, I just like to look at the pictures and the photography. I love the surrealism and artistic beauty that is present in high fashion. Everything, the models, the make up, the hairstyles, the clothes, are fanciful and whimsical, but still realistic. It make you think, "If I could just tease my hair like that, wear that same lipstick and get that smokey dark eye shadow effect, I would look just like that and totally pull of that look!" But deep down inside you know it's not true and never will be, I have gotten a lot of my hairstyle ideas from fashion magazines, but I have to tone them down a bit to make them actually wearable.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Fab Finds

I just discovered a favorite new discount site:! This site has some great discount of luxury and designer accessories and fashions. These sales are only during a limited time, so make sure you get them while they are available.

I found these great products from Green Eyed Girl, which specializes in vintage inspired household items and accessories. I'm not really a big candle fan, especially not since I accidentally caught my hair on fire with a candle in high school, but these are actually really cute and unique. I'm thinking that when I get my own place (which will hopefully be this summer, pending a job offer, of course), I'll go for a vintage Victorian look, so I may grab a couple of the candles now to use as decorative pieces, if nothing else. This sale ends in 22 hours!

Teacup Candle Pomegranate VIII $35 $50

Teacup Candle Green Grass V $35 $50

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Work it! Work it!

I just started back working out after a little. After trying on a new dress that I had order about a week ago, I realised that I needed to take up some "body image management." Of course, the dress fit perfectly, as does all my other clothes, but i couldn't help noticing the slight lumps of excess adipose tissue forming around my waist and on my stomach. After trying different mirrors at different angles, I came to the conclusion that these lumps were, in fact, there, and that ignoring them would only make the problem worse, so I decided to begin a work-out routine.

I haven't actually worked out in a good two or three years, until now. I kept telling myself that I would, or that I wasn't really out of shape, or some such other excuse. Exercising has never really appealed to me for two reasons: 1. I'm ridiculously lazy; and 2. I'm really, really bad about keeping up on routines of any kind. My goal now is to work out every weekday after work (very ambitious!). To help me achieve this goal, I'm mainly doing quick exercising routines like Pilates 20 minute work-out, and Calinetics 20 minute AM (mainly for working your muscles) and PM (mainly stretches) work-outs. I also have a few belly dancing work-out videos, but belly dancing is actually quite hard to do, and requires a good amount of dedication and commitment. I use these more for perfecting the art of seduction fun than anything else, anyway.

Pilates and Calinetics are great exercises for when you want fast results, but not bulky muscles, because they work on deep muscles, and help build muscle tone. If you do these work-out routines consistently for about a week or two, you should actually begin to feel, and possibly see, results. I like to switch them up in my routine, so that my body does not become too accustomed to one particular exercise too quickly. For example, I may do Pilates for a few days, and then do Calinetics for the next few days. I've also found that alternating between the two every other day works as well.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Whose Watching Your Blog?!

Côte d’Ivoire's flag
I've been writing cover letters for job applications for the last two days, so I just need some silliness to quickly alleviate my brain. I seem to be getting myself a nice little international following, at least according to my Blogger Audience stats. I'm not really sure how relevant or helpful these stats are but they make me feel all warm and fuzzy and world wide popular inside.

Anyway, this all started when I was checking my blog stats for the day. This has been a daily routine for me since around August of September. It's been interesting for me to chronicle the viewing stats of my blog over time; when I first started, I was getting maybe 5 or 6 a day, but now it's up to nearly 20 a day! This may not seem like much to some people but for me, this is a big, huge deal. I'm also getting blog views from other countries such as India, Australia, and the UK, instead of just US and Russia (although apparently most of the ones from Russia were spam and porn sites). Today, as I was checking, I noticed that I had one view from Côte d’Ivoire. This was very interesting for me since I had never hear of Côte d’Ivoire before. When I did a little Wiki-ing, I found that it was actually the Ivory Coast (why couldn't they have just said that instead of confusing people by putting it in French). This made me think "Wow! My blog has made international fame! People all over the world are reading it now!" Of course, this person probably just mistyped a web address and accidentally found themselves on my blog, but still.

So, in an effort to make my blog a little more interactive, I ask you, my loyal readers:
  1. Do you ever stalk study your Blogger viewer stats?
  2. What is the strangest/most random place you've ever gotten a view from?

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Fashion Rebel With A Cause

Some of my favorite outfits from Milanoo! Edited in Photobucket
After doing my post on The Walk and my own person clothing style, I started think about why it is that I dress the way I do, and choose to pursue and create my own sense of style, instead of simply following what's "in." Obviously, the short answer to this is that people, myself included obviously, tend to buy and wear what they like, or what fits their personality. While this is true, I believe that there are deeper, more ideological reasons (uh uh, my academic training is coming through). I believe that in my case, I dress a particular way because, as I had mentioned before, I don't like to fit into preconceived categories, or stereotypes. In other words, this is my way of being rebellious. This line of thought lead me to think of how different fashion styles can be used to rebel in more non traditional ways.

When most people think of using clothes and fashion as ways of rebelling, they naturally tend to think of the more obvious fashion styles, such as Punk, Emo, Goth, Grunge, etc. However, it's the less obvious trends that I want to consider in this post, using myself as the main case study. In analyzing this concept of rebelling, we must realize that there are different forms of rebelling. For instance, one can rebel against, an institution, a belief, a way of organizing, etc. Even the notion of"rebelling against society" can have different meanings, as "society" as an abstract term can encompass and signify different things to different people in different contexts. With this in mind, I now going to explain how I use my style to rebel.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

All Done Up!

mark. sparkly eye shadow
I don't know what it is, but Ive started wearing make-up again! My mom, being an ex-make-up artist, says I should start wearing make-up anyway, especially now that I'm 23 and working. The only problem is that whenever I do start to wear make-up, she always asks am I doing it impress someone (very annoying). I used to wear eye make-up on a regular basis way back in middle school, but by sophomore year in high school, my severe laziness set in, and I gave up on the morning routine involving putting  on make-up. I starting wearing foundation last summer after I graduated while I was interning because I hated showing up to work with greasy, oily skin, which is what happens to my skin when I'm out in hot weather. For the past week or so, I've started wearing eye shadow and some lipstick to go along with my freshly trimmed brows.

I prefer a more subtle look in my make-up, so I usually wear dark browns, purples, and this wonderful olive color that I got from Ulta about 10 years ago (still looks good!). I use the sparkly tan shades as highlights for my upper eye when I'm going out, or to somewhere fancy. I've been playing around with different methods and effects of applying my eye shadow, which has been tough since I'm not all that creative or skilled when it comes to color in general (my basically black and white wardrobe, with some solid colored pieces, can attest to this).

My next step is to get some powder and maybe blush. I'll have to seek guidance from my mom on this because I've never bought powder before and have absolutely no idea what shade I would wear. Also, the shades are different depending on the brand, and I don't trust myself to just eye-ball it.

Lancome eye shadow

Ulta Cashmere and Olive eye shadow

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Versatile Blogger Award

Wow! So it seems that all of my hard work remaking the look and content of my blog has finally payed off: I've been nominated by Valentina Stanley of! Thank you , Valentina Stanley!

 RULES of the award -
    1. Nominate 15 fellow bloggers who are relatively new to blogging
    2. Let them know you have nominated them.
    3. Share 7 random facts about yourself.
    4. Thank the bloggers you who have nominated you.
    5. Add the Versatile Blogger Picture to your blog.

The 15 nominations might be a little hard since I'm relatively new to blogging myself, but here goes:
  1. Very, very creative and kawaii blog!!
  2. I'm not sure if it's considered a relatively new blog since there are posts from 2010, but I love her illustrations.
  3. Very nice cosmetics and beauty tips!
  4. Great blog for finding new indie bands!
  5. More great beauty tips and contests!
  6. Great and creative fashion blog!
  7. Great blog for Second Life furniture!
  8. Interior decorating blog with great ideas for reusing furniture and spaces!
  9. Great poetry and inspirational blog!
  10. Very cute and creative lifestyle blog!
  11. Another cute poetry and creative writing blog!
  12. Very in-your-face, creative blog!
  13. Cool blog on dream interpretation!
  14. Very inspirational Lifestyle blog!
  15. -Very fresh and visually pleasing lifestyle blog!
Now for the 7 random facts about me:
  1. I lived near a horse farm when I was in high school.
  2. I have a cat who is almost as old as I am in human years (I got her when I was 6 and she was a kitten)
  3. I grew up eating Chinese food, even though no one in my family is Chinese, or even ever been to China!
  4. I only drink coffee for the taste, not the caffeine (really random).
  5. I attended five different schools growing up.
  6. I still don't have my driver's license, and can't drive.
  7. I think Hello Kitty is the cutest thing ever, next to my cat, of course!

Manga Page 10

This is the moment you've all been waiting for *drum roll*: The final page of the manga, and here it is. It seems Nicole is finally over Chad and Ren, and decided to take Bethany's advice after all!