Parks Are Not Necessarily My Kind of Recreation

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black cami: Forever 21 :: top: Banana Republic :: shorts: Old Navy
wooden clogs: Target :: necklace: Forever 21 :: heart bangle: from Emma (H&M)


I'm not usually this cranky (ok, maybe I am), but there are just some days when all of Mother Nature's goodness cannot cheer me up. I blame it on the humidity. UGH, is probably the best sound that encapsulates how I feel about the moist, heavy feeling I get when I TRY to breathe during the summer. Also, I just feel dirty slogging through the heat. My hair gets grimy quicker, and I feel like I need to take another shower just to cool off. Watching the trailer for the remake of "Footloose" added to my frustration. Really? remaking a classic that is already perfect? UGH.

This is How I Partay... and a RANT.

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foundation: Clinique Acne Solutions in Fresh Beige :: powder: Physician's Formula Organic Wear Face Sculpting Trio::
eye shadow: Memoirs of a Kitty palette :: eye liner: Physician's Formula gel liner in brown ::
mascara: Rimmel Max Volume Flash in 003 ::
cheeks: Maybelline dream mousse #30 :: Memoirs of a Kitty blush
lips: MAC Costa Chic
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blue: Essie Coat Azure :: white: L.A. Colors French Nail Creme

This past weekend was a bit different from what I've been used to. The past two years in grad school meant that each moment mattered in improving an essay, reading an extra paper, or revising my thesis. I suppose I turned a bit anti-social for a while, but I can't really blame the books since I thoroughly enjoyed each and every one of them.

A couple of really good friends of mine are leaving the States tomorrow, so during this last weekend, we engaged in as much conviviality as we could. It was a lot of fun getting to finally chill with friends, meet new ones, and of course, indulge in spirits and delicious food. My contribution included homemade peach frozen yogurt and more french macarons.

Outfit posts will follow. I just wanted to get in a quick post about the makeup I wore. I call it my "Laura is getting older party makeup" look. Though I love experimenting with color, and by no means am I scared of too much eyeliner or being raccoon-eyed, I like to make sure that even at 2 am I still look presentable. Also, since one of the parties was during a humid afternoon, I didn't want too much makeup to make my face look cake-y and painted on.

My skin's recovering, still, from stress acne. It's been tough, with the random breakouts and the scarring, but it's getting there. I find that because of my skin, I prefer to wear less makeup, which explains my "party" look a lot, really.

On a separate note, I'd like to go into a mini rant about something that's been bothering me a lot lately. I am sure that all of you, dear readers, have experienced this at one time. Why is it that people insist on leaving comments like, "I like your blog. Follow me, and I'll follow you back?" Are there people out there who really only care about their blog stats or how many followers they have? Is it some sort of self-confidence booster? Whenever I look the blogs of those people who leave such comments, most of the comments are pithy and much of the blog content isn't really worth looking at. (That's harsh, but I can say what I want in my blog) I really am not so sure about people who follow my blog and then comment only once (with their "check my blog out and follow!" comment). I only follow blogs I am genuinely interested in, and though I may not comment on every single post, I leave one when I can and take the time to read through the entire post. How do you deal with those kinds of "bloggers?"

InVESTing in Something Better...

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white top: thrifted :: black vest and jeggings: New York and Co :: skinny belt: F21 ::
wedges: Hot Topic :: purse: Burlington?


Outfit #5 of my 6-month challenge
It was bound to happen. I knew from the very beginning of my 6-month challenge that this day would come. I just didn't think it would be this soon.

People, I just found an article of clothing I can live without. This long, black vest was one of those impulsive buys I picked up on sale about a year ago when I was putting together items for my teaching wardrobe. If I recall correctly, I only used this vest once, probably a month after I bought it, over a short, black dress to add some modesty to my outfit. (The dress was super short, and I was wearing tights. I needed something to go over my bum.) I remember not liking it then, and I still don't like it now.

Don't get me wrong, I love vests and waistcoats, but eh, this long one is jut not my style. Imma gonna invest in something better in the future. 

In fact, I'm not a fan of this outfit all that much, but I wanted to show you, dear readers, that the 6-month challenge isn't all fun and games for me. The second photo really sums up how I feel about all this. I like curling my hair, but never will I do it this tight and tiny again. They make me look really old -_-

In much funner news, look what I've been making all afternoon!!!



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MACARONS!!! tons and tons of delicious, ganache-filled MACARONS!

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Do you know what the middle macaron is thinking? Dude, I'm oozing awesome right now

If You Like It, Then You Should've Put a Ring on It

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rompers: Charlotte Russe: cardi: thrifted :: wooden clogs: Target ::
ring: Etsy :: Panda necklace: Forever 21


Another hot day in Illinois. I apologize for not posting more often. To be honest, most of the time, I am in shorts and a tee or in jammies: requisite clothing to cope with this insufferable humidity.

One thing I rarely do is pay full price for an item. This ring is one that I decided I just HAD to have. (I'm sorry I can't remember the seller name on Etsy). I mean, wings on a ring. How can I resist? What I love about huge pieces of jewelry is that all I have to do is wear one, and I'm set.

It's been more than a week since I started my 6-month challenge, and as I expected, it was hard. A good friend of mine asked me to go shopping with her, since she's leaving the country in a couple weeks. Of course, we got to the mall right when all the stores were having their end-of-season sales. Express had an extra 20% off their clearance items; Victoria's Secret was having their semi-annual sale; and the GAP was renovating their space, so they basically had everything for under $15. But! I prevailed. But, I ended up buying some VS cosmetics since they were $1.50 each, and I spent a grand total of $12. I've quite proud of myself.

Easy As Couscous

I really loved reading your thoughts on food. Thanks for all your great comments! Since I won't be blogging about new purchases for a while, I decided to take some time to share my love for the other worldly delights I have. Lidi from Eclectic Flair asked that I share some quick, easy, and healthy recipes. I am no master chef, but I do love cooking. I am one of those people who find chopping vegetables a time-consuming, yet relaxing chore. So, I do take my time in the kitchen. But when it's hot and humid outside, the last place I want to be is in a boiling hot room, slaving over a hot stove.

This recipe is something my husband and I made up last weekend. We were rushing to get out of the house so we could enjoy the beautiful outdoors. This dish took all of 20 minutes to make and was so delicious, I decided to repeat it for this week's lunch. The recipe makes about 4-6 large servings or 8-10 side servings. I like to keep some couscous in the fridge to nom on for a snack, a quick entree, or a topping for salad


EASY AS COUSCOUS


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* Instead of WATER, you can also use CHICKEN or VEGETABLE broth. Major flavor points will be added.

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How do you prepare couscous?

To Market, To Market

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birdie hoodie: Sweet Child, TJ Maxx :: shorts: Old Navy :: owly kicks: Chucks ::
HK tote: Sanrio :: cross body purse: Harajuku Lovers
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excuse the dark spot on my right shin. I fell and scraped my leg, just like your normal 8-year old boy would.
Outfit #3 of my 6-month Challenge
Thanks for all the well-wishes, my dear readers! I know, with your support, I can do it!

I realize this outfit isn't smashtastic, but I wore it anyway. It's all part of the challenge, I suppose. And, because it was a particularly breezy day, I decided to get to wearing this short-sleeved hoodie before it got too hot to even think about. I absolutely loved the print on this number, which is why I bought it in the first place, about 4 years ago. And the sad part is, I've only worn it about 3 times, mostly because it's really too short for my liking. Sometimes I think I should have a blog sale or something, just so I can find happy homes for my darlings. 

Do you like my Hello Kitty reusable tote? I was so excited to bust it out to carry my goodies from the farmers' market! I simply adore buying fresh, local produce. And, as much as I complain about the heat and humidity, I really like that summer avails me with amazing vegetables and sweet, sweet fruit. When the warmer temps hit, my husband and I go to a restricted diet of local produce, yes, even meat. So, unless my relatives ship me seafood, I don't get to have any. (Sad face, McLaura) It can be expensive, but we like to support local farmers. Also, once you taste REAL veggies, you really can't go back to store-bought stuffs. 

What's in my shopping tote, you ask? I got carrots, kale, bok choy, and a free range chicken. And since the 3lb chicken cost me about $12, I will have to go mostly vegan this week. Delighted! 

What's your food philosophy?

ps. Thanks for all the feedback on Disqus. I've decided to keep the comment system blogger has and will just have to reply thru email or twitter. So please, if you have a question you want me to answer, leave your email addy in the comment box! 

X-Ceptionally Sweet

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Zatanna tee: C2E2 find :: red cardi: thrifted:: skirt: thrifted :: wooden clogs: Target
key pendant: F21 :: umbrella, hair clip: Sanrio :: purse: Juicy Couture
Day #2 of the 6-month Challenge.

I woke up to rain and gloom after a long stretch of warm, humid weather. I welcomed it with open arms... and my pink Hello Kitty umbrella. I love this umbrella. I never thought I would fork over $20 for it, but the ruffles called out to me. And yes, it's a kids' umbrella. There were adult-sized ones, but I thought they looked kinda plain. My husband and I left early in the morning to watch X-Men: First Class, which I absolutely loved, but not as much as I love this outfit.

For one, I am wearing one of my geek tees-- a Zatanna shirt portraying the magician-superhero in one of her more obscure costumes. Another reason I love this outfit is for this skirt, with its extra flounce and dotty print. You can't see it, but there are pink and grey dots all over the fabric. Lastly, I felt a little bit like the gorgeous Addie, whimsical and all, but totally still geeky and me.

After we left the theater, the sun peeked out for just a moment, and I got to take more silly pictures.

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Mad Hattess

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black tank, blue cardi, striped skirt, pink purse, necklace: F21
hat: Men's section somewhere I don't remember.
wooden clogs: Target
flower pin: Icing
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eye shadow: Ciotolina from Toki Doki and Turquoise Exclusive from Too Faced Glamourland
lips: Thalia from NYX (favorite lip color ever)
I'm not really Angry-Mad, nor am I Insane-Mad, but at the moment, I'm kinda upset and mildly crazy. For the past few weeks, it's become apparent to me that the ongoing battle between me and my closet will remain just that--ongoing. Even if I cull regularly, I still have a crapload of stuff, and I feel that I really am not loving the stuff I have as much as they deserve to be loved.

One of the other goals I had in starting this blog (and thus naming it so) was to spend less and use the stuff I already have. I wanted to love the worldly delights I already had. My grad student-ness kept my spending in check, since I wasn't getting much of a paycheck, but I still bought stuff I didn't need. Accumulated. Hoarded. Oh gosh, that sounds awful. 

So, I'm going to stop shopping for a while. I know lots of bloggers have made similar efforts (I even got reminded just this morning about this whilst reading Kiah's blog), and I am gonna try to do the same. Not shopping will push me to:
1. Learn how to sew properly. 
2. Be more creative with accessory making. I have tons of "ingredients" so to speak. I just have to make the cake. 
3. Love my stuff.

For 6 months, I am not going to buy a single garment or accessory, and I am going to try to wear all the items of clothing I already have in my closet. 

Whoa. My fingers got all tense and wobbly there for a second.

This outfit would never have been formulated if I didn't push myself to think differently about the stuff I already have. I've had this hat for close to a year now, and I never wore it. (Partly because my head is huge, but whatever.) And this skirt saw daylight for the first time today. It's been sitting at the bottom of my dresser for about 8 months. And look at that, I even put a flower on the hat! Ha! I can feel the creative juices flowing already. Is it supposed to feel like Jello?

Have you ever undergone a shopping fast? 

I Know What Boys Like...

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Batman Tee: Walmart, boys' section, torn by me :: shorts: Old Navy ::
Panda necklace: Forever 21 :: Sandals: Ross
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FACE: Elf Studio Tone Correcting Powder, Elf blush in Pink Passion, Toki Doki Luminosa Powder
EYES: Physician's Formula Shimmer Strips for Brown Eyes, in purple
LIPS: EOS lipbalm in Sweet Mint
Well, I know what MY "boy" likes. He likes it when I get my total geek on and shamelessly wear my superhero tees. And I have quite a few of those. What can I say? I love comics, I'm inspired by comics, I want to be a comic book superhero. No, not really. No, wait, I'm lying.

A word (or a few more) about the tees that find themselves in my closet:
They never last as whole tees for long. I have this obsession with ripping tees up, wearing them once, and then tossing them. It's a horrible habit, but I think I'll make an exception for this Batman shirt. I love Batman waaaay too much to discard his logo. 

Moving on. I am having a small problem with my blog. I would LOVE to answer/respond to blogger comments/questions left on posts, but I haven't figured out an efficient and effective way of doing it. I've been emailing back to those bloggers who have an email attached to their comments, but for those who don't, I really don't know how to get back to them. I am thinking about using Disqus, but I've heard about how it does weird stuff to stats and such. For those who have Disqus, is it totally worth it? Why did you switch? For those who use other means, what do you use and why? 

Naughty-cal

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dress: H&M :: cardi and necklace: Forever 21 :: wooden clogs: Target
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eye shadow: Too Faced Enchanted Glamourland Palette
liner: Physician's Formula Shimmer Strips for Brown Eyes, in black
mascara: Maybelline Great Lash mascara
lips: Wet n Wild 511B


YAAARR!!! I have a feeling Santa won't be giving me the presents I'll be wanting come Christmas-time (who thinks of Christmas in June??? I do.) since I've been such a horribly naughty girl. That sounds kinky, but trust me, it's not.  

My list of naughty things, all accomplished today:
1. I ate a humongous RED VELVET cupcake even when I'm on a diet.
2. I only worked out for 40 minutes instead of 50.
3. I played video games for 4 hours instead of cleaning or job searching.
4. I ignored my garden.
5. I only took 2 pictures for this blog post. It was sooo hot outside, I got cranky.
5. I dyed my hair dark brown again, right after I just re-touched my auburn roots. (OK, so, I did this last weekend, but still... it was a naughty thing to do)

I really think it's the heat that's making me do all these crrraazy things! When it's hot and humid, all I can think of is sleep and ice cream (not together, because that would be messy). Mmm... Ice cream.