Presenting Laura... Now With (Bigger) Wings


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It's no secret that I love the winged eye look. It's been my go-to look for a while now, replacing the colored liner look I used to abuse. Obviously, these wings I'm sporting are a bit much for daytime or everyday wear, but they're fun paired with a light pink lip.

Today, I finally made a Polivore account. I know, I know. I'm so up-to-date on things. How was I supposed to know that it would be so much more convenient (and addicting) making up collages of the cosmetics I used?
WINGed!

Hiding My Shame


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shirt of shame

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oversized tee: JCPenney, redone by moi :: dress: Rue 21::
elfin boots: Urban Outfitters :: blue knit socks: Old Navy
cross-body purse: Harajuku Lovers

Thank you all so much for your kind words of support! I am definitely feeling much better now and have taken on a more positive approach to my situation. You all are AWESOME.

A few months ago, I wore this grey shirt (and the boots) to celebrate my defense. I haven't worn it since because I spilled celebratory seafood pasta on it and was never able to fully get the oil stain out. The shirt sat in my giveaway pile, a reminder of my shameful, drunken eating habits until I came upon this wonderful DIY idea from Vanessa.

I wanted to use a potato to stamp my skull pattern out, but my fon fon ru got upset over wasting a potato, so I ended up buying a rubber stamp block instead. If you want to try this DIY out, be cautioned! It's really annoying carving a pattern on a rubber block without the right tools. You'll be better off with using a vegetable and a knife.

All in all, the project took about an hour to carve and stamp. I let the shirt dry overnight before wearing it/ washing it.

I'm off to spend the day finishing A Clash of Kings. I hope you all are having a great Monday!

Clich├ęd


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black dress: Rue 21 :: top, necklace: Forever 21 :: wedges: Hot Topic::
purse: Juicy Couture


I've been feeling a little down in the dumps lately, and I'm trying to not let it get to me too much. As you may already know, I graduated last May, and, since then, have been looking for a job. I live in a small-ish city smack dab in the middle of nowhere, really. Most of my friends who have teaching jobs drive around a 50 or so mile radius just to make ends meet. It really pains me to hear that my fellow colleagues aren't getting paid very well or are working jobs that don't have anything to do with the degree they worked so hard in, or (even worse) working jobs they don't actually enjoy. 


I've been really picky with the jobs I've been applying to. I don't want to commute, since I've driven 2+ hours everyday for the past two years, and I'm quite honestly sick of it. I also want a job with set hours. For all the grad students out there, you understand what I mean about this. Being a grad student is, in itself, a full-time, around the clock job. Lastly, I want a job that I know I'll have fun doing. 

My requirements aren't demanding, and I should be able to find a job, right? Well, my location and the current state of the job market just aren't in my favor. That's why I've been a little down. But you know what instantly makes me feel better? 
Dressing up. 

Mixing clothes to make an outfit and putting makeup on really help me get out of cliched rut of blah. 

What do you do to banish the blahs? 
I hope everyone is having a wonderful week!

ps. I've just got a Pinterest account and have been furiously pinning! I'm totally hooked. Come pin with me!

Dreaming of the Sea


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skirt worn as dress, cardigan : Forever 21 :: scarf: Urban Outfitters
clogs: Target:: belt: thrifted
Outfit #21 of my 6-Month Challenge

These past few days have been way too hot for me, in more ways than one. Obviously, the temperature has gone up again, and Illinois is blessed/cursed with sweaty, muggy days and uncomfortable, sleepless nights. Yesterday, during a brief moment of cool in the morning, I asked my fon fon ru to pick whatever jalapenos he could find in the garden. I was feeling quite ambitious and wanted to preserve as many as I could to use later in the year. 

He came back from my garden with 10 or so HUGE jalapenos, and I set about to the arduous task of dicing them. The idiot that I (sometimes) am, I sliced gloveless, and the capsaicin from the peppers slowly but surely worked its way under my dermis. An hour later, my left hand felt like it was burning, though cool to the touch. I spent the next 5-6 hours immersing my hand in various liquid concoctions:
1. milk and baking soda
2. water and baking soda
3. vinegar
4. half and half
5. vegetable oil
I finally ran out of most of these items and settled for milk. Half a gallon later, my hand felt much better. But by that time, most of the day had whittled away, laughing at my misery. 

The lesson of this story, kids, is WEAR PROTECTION. Because if you don't, you'll be living in hot agony. Unless you live by water. Oh, have I been longing for the sea



Not Quite A Favorite


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dress: Forever 21 :: belt: thrifted:: sandals: Ross


This isn't my favorite outfit. It was hastily put together in an attempt to look presentable despite the recent spike in humidity and heat. I've been slacking with the photos lately because, up until noon today, I was immersed in A Game of Thrones. Now, I'm not much of a fantasy genre person when it comes to books since I have almost no patience for memorizing place names, family trees, and customs unique to a contrived society. I only got in to Lord of the Rings AFTER I'd seen the movies (and the cartoons). I've yet to see the HBO adaptation of the Song of Ice and Fire series, but I was moved to read this gigantic hunk of a novel at the behest of many of my friends. 

I relented. And I was pleased I relented. 

Though it's quite long, A Game of Thrones is very easy to read. The plot is interesting, somewhat intricate, but not complex at all, and the story is told through a variety of points of views to keep things fresh. I'll stop talking about it before I give out any spoilers.

Have you read or seen Game of Thrones? 

Pin-up Domestic



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Sorry, folks, no Outfit photo today since the fon fon ru and I spent the whole weekend at home, mostly playing video games, but I also took a lot of time cooking.

You'll have to settle for my face.



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I was feeling a little vintage pin-up, a little 50s housewife over the weekend, so I decided on wearing red lipstick while going on about with my daily chores. Since I wasn't going out, I decided to use mineral makeup/powder instead of liquid/cream foundation. I was pleasantly surprised at the coverage! The secret to making powder work is really just blending. A dense, fluffy brush will do the trick.

STEPS:
1. BASE: ELF Complexion Perfection Powder. All 4 colors swirled together and applied to face.
2. COVERAGE: Physician's Formula Organic Wear Powder. All 3 shades blended together then applied to face.
3. BLUSH: Hello Kitty "Memoirs of a Geisha" blush in coral.
4. EYES: Physician's Formula "Baked Smokes" eyeshadow. I used the 2 darker colors.
    MASCARA: Rimmel "Max Volume Flash" mascara. 2 coats.
5. LINER: N.Y.C. lip liner pencil 957A. To prevent the lipcolor running.
    LIPSTICK: Arissa in Fever

I am not much for summer heat and sun, but I do love the bounty of produce the season avails me. This weekend, I made a pot of tomato sauce from the first batch of tomatoes and basil from my own garden! They're no San Marzanos, but oh! was the sauce mighty tasty. I also made some corn chowder, chocolate chip scones, and a lovely pot of peach crumble. When I want to, I can be a pretty darn good housekeeper.

How was your weekend?

Another "Waisted" Experiment


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black dress worn as skirt: thrifted :: Joker tee: Hot Topic :: striped cardi: Forever 21::
pink purse: Forever 21 :: red flats: Candie's :: belt: thrifted


I was so happy today when I donned this cardi. It's finally cool enough to actually wear layers! I was so ecstatic, I celebrated by playing video games all day. Inside. And I mean ALL DAY. I literally parked my butt on the couch and stared at the TV for 6 hours straight, only pausing to grab a glass of water or some watermelon. 

I know I'm probably the last one to find out about this, but the game Civilization Revolution is a heck of a lot of fun, like, addicting kind of fun! When I was a kid, I used to love playing strategy games like Warcraft and Starcraft. And I remember really getting into other PC games like Age of Mythology and whatnot when I was in high school. I just love the idea of designing and expanding an empire! It's so thrilling!

But enough of the geek babble. Here's yet another experiment with a different silhouette. I wore the skirt higher than my natural waist, still, but a little lower than last time. Tucking tops in is actually new for me. I am very conscious of my middle area, but I quite like this effect. I think the poofiness of the skirt makes my waist look even smaller.

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After I'd indulged in all my nerdness, I set out to buy mozzarella balls for the pizzas that my friends and I were having for dinner. Since I hadn't eaten all day, I was in dire need of some protein goodness. Lo and behold, in the shelf right in front of me were these organic peanut butter covered pretzels, taunting me. Calling out my name. I couldn't get a clear picture of them because I was too excited to eat them. You'll just have to trust me. They were that good.

"Waist" Not, Want Not


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top: Rue 21 :: skirt: Ann Taylor LOFT :: clogs: Target::
purse: thrifted :: bangles: Maurices :: necklace: Icing::
green bracelet: gift from fon fon ru


Earlier today, while rummaging through my storage closet for some soap, I found a box of hair dye in "Soft Black" that my friend left at my house a long time ago. Since she'd already moved hundreds of miles away and is quite happy with her current hair color, AND since my roots are darker than my the rest of my hair, I decided to put the dye to good use and get my tresses to an even color. Waste not, want not

Ever since I started this challenge, I've been getting creative with some of the garments I wear together. In honor of this month's EBEW, I'm mixing some stripes with really loud florals. I know the pattern on the skirt looks like splotches or pink camo (please don't tell me it does), but I assure you, they're flowers. At least I think they're flowers

I've also been experimenting with silhouettes. I've never actually worn skirts this high up before, but I quite like the waist-whittling effect. I'm now inspired to try other shapes. "Waist" not, want not. Does that work?


The Secret Garden

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dress: GAP (with the bow worn in front) :: cardi, bag, shoes: thrifted:: necklace: Forever 21


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Lately, I've been re-visiting many of my childhood favorites via audiobooks. Now, I usually love the feel and smell of books, but when I'm in the gym, cleaning the house, or cooking, I can't very well hold a book right in front of me now, can I? I am currently listening to Frances Hodgson Burnett's The Secret Garden-- one of my to-go books when I was little.

I'm sure that the book has influenced my current choice of clothing, what with the wide skirts and the heels, but it's also affected my choice of background for these photos. I actually ventured out into the hot and humid world to take advantage of the beautiful sunlight.

My weekend was a flurry of comic books and video games. Oh, and enchiladas. I love making enchiladas since that means I get to spend more time in the kitchen with my fon fon ru (my husband). Making the dish is time-consuming and tiring, but well-worth the effort. To go with our meal, I also made some delicious pico de gallo using fresh tomatoes and jalapenos from my garden. In the past week, I harvested at least half a dozen ruby red tomatoes and a ton of jalapenos. I'm a natural Mary Lennox, I know.

How was your weekend? 

PS. Thanks for all your wonderful comments about my new layout! I'm glad you liked it :)

Aubergines

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dress: Forever 21 :: button-up shirt: Bitten by SJP :: white tank: H&M::
wooden clogs: Target:: purse: thrifted :: necklace: Kohl's


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Though I'd professed my love for all things pink and girly, I never really liked purple until recently. About four years ago, my husband bought me the first purple garment I have ever had. When I wore it to work, I got a ton of compliments, but I didn't think it looked that grand on me. Later on, I got this dress, the color of which is closer to eggplant than purple, in my opinion.
And I sooo love eggplants.

I love eggplants in curry. I love them in an omelet. I love them baked in breadcrumbs and parmesan. I love them as a dip. I love the deep, rich purple color of aubergines as well. It's girly, but in a regal and classy way. 

As you probably have noticed, I made some pretty drastic changes to my blog layout. Viewing many of my older posts is going to be messy, but that's something I can live with for now. I find that whenever my overall mood or outlook changes, I have to make sure everything around me matches. Right now, I suppose, I'm in a gothic/Edgar Allan Poe/ wrought iron fence mood, whatever that may mean.

Do you like aubergines? as much as I do?
Do you change your layout to fit your mood?

Product Review: Ojon Color Sustain Hair Products

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A couple of months ago, I colored my hair back to a dark brown since I was getting really iffy about seeing my roots. My hair has been growing a lot faster these days, and I just didn’t like the mismatched facial/head hair look. At the same time, I won 4 Ojon Color Sustain products from Sephora’s blog “Beauty and the Blog.” I got a shampoo, conditioner, color protecting cream, and a hairspray. And you best be believing I put these babies to work after I ripped them from the box.

The products claim to “preserve color vibrancy and shine” and contain Tahitian Monoi oil that has been used to keep hair silky and smooth. I’ve been using all four products non-stop, for about a month and a half, instead of those I normally use. Here is my honest review about them.

PROS:
  • ·        The color of my hair stayed vibrant and shiny.
  • ·        The scent of the products is really lovely and pleasant. Not heavy or too cloyingly sweet.
  • ·        I love that there is a whole system ranging from shampoo to hair spray. It’s easier to just pick what you need from one line.
  • ·        The consistency of the conditioner is really thick and really nourishes and softens my hair.
  • ·        The hairspray gives a light hold and doesn’t leave those disgusting crusty flecks after application.

CONS:
  • ·        When using the shampoo and conditioner, I feel like I need a lot more product because the formula doesn’t seem to lather as much and my scalp doesn’t feel as clean after one application.
  • ·        I noticed that I needed to wash my hair EVERYDAY because my scalp gets oilier quicker. My hair is really thick and dense, so I normally wash it every other day. But with this system, I had to wash it every single day.
  • ·        I don’t like the Color Protecting Cream at all. The consistency is really wet and runny, like a too-oily serum mixed with some cream. Any amount, no matter how miniscule, made my hair too oily and heavy-feeling.

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My hair right after shampoo, conditioner, and cream. 

FINAL THOUGHTS:
On the whole, I think that the products really just don't work with my hair type. I have typical Asian hair, thick and a bit coarse. I usually wash my hair every other day because it gets oily, absorbs odors, and gets dirty quickly. It's a shame because with these products, my hair was really shiny and the color remained vibrant.

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One is Silver, and the other is Crap

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top: Rue 21:: skirt, necklace: Forever 21:: belt: thrifted:: clogs: Target


Meet new friends and keep the old. One is silver, and the other is gold.  

After seeing the same clothes over and over again for about a month and a half now, it seems like I've uncovered a treasure hoard of "friends." Let me explicate.

In my closet, I have my staples, my favorite items, and those that I wear multiple times. Those garments/accessories are my OLD FRIENDS, my GOLD FRIENDS. I can rely on them through thick and thin. I know them really well and can wear them appropriately.

Then, there are those whom I consider my FRENEMIES. You know, those clothes that you really don't like that much, but maybe, just MAYBE, you'll need someday. This black and pink top is one of my Frenemies. I don't even remember when or for how much I got this top for. All I remember was that I would probably need something like that one day.

Well, that one day hasn't come yet. So, I tried it on today to see if I could use it for everyday wear. It looked comfy enough. Though the fabric is breathable, the length of the garment is really weird, and sits an inch too high for my tastes. The sleeves pinch just a tad, but enough to make me feel really uncomfortable wearing it for long periods of time (as I type, I am in my comfy Batman tee). 

So, it's time to dump the sucker.

The moral of this blogpost is: "Throw your Frenemies away"

Once in a while, I'll come across a garment that I won't remember wearing or purchasing. So, I make a little time for it and try it on. Those are my ACQUAINTANCES. If they pass the Frenemy Test, then they become my SILVER friends. This skirt is an example of my current, favorite acquaintance. It's super comfy and extra swishy! 
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