Fuzzy Blue Smarties

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It's difficult to be ill-tempered these days since the season of pumpkin pancakes and beef stews is upon us. Sure, the number of tissue boxes I've had to purchase each week has increased tenfold, and yes, I find a different cat's bottom next to my head every chilly morning when I wake, but I can deal with all of that as long as I can wear my layers and my jumpers! Oh the little delights of life.

Like my sweater? I found this gem hanging sadly on a neglected rack in one of my local thrift shops, and I had to make it mine. It reminds me of little yarn pompoms stuck together to form the one pompom. Or blue Smarties. FUZZY blue Smarties. Take your pick.


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Have a lovely weekend!

My Kind of Celebration is lumpy

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The past couple of days have been a sigh of relief for me. I can't be specific just yet, but I can honestly say that I feel a lot happier than I have in a long, long time.These days, my happiness occasionally materializes into mini-celebrations such as wearing bright colors despite the chill in the air or impromptu oatmeal and tea breaks accompanied by a spot of reading. Don't mock me now if you don't think eating lumpy cinnamon sugar oats while re-reading Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers isn't your cuppa.

I'm really surprised that I actually got a lot of wear with this paperbag skirt. I picked a color that I don't usually wear, but since I made it, I've actually paired it with a lot more than I thought I could. (see here, here, and here.) I used to think that I could only wear contrasting colors, but sticking to a color family actually looks great as long as I pepper it with bits of contrast (belt, bag, shoes).

*P.S. My lovely fruit charm bracelet was given to me by Johanna, one of my favorite bloggers. :) How she knew that I'd been wanting a charm bracelet is a mystery to me! I must be readable as hell, or she's just got a great sense of style! She's gorgeous, crafty, and such a sweetheart. Do check her blog out! Thanks, Johanna!

My kinda dress:: an eShakti review

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It's no secret that I adore dresses. They're easy to slip on and always make me feel pretty. And nothing beats a versatile dress, and I'm so glad I got sent this gorgeous knit dress by eShakti, one of my favorite online stores.

I woke up wanting to wear this dress to run errands, so I added a faux leather jacket to it, to toughen it up and dress it down a bit. I love how glamorous the embellishment on the neckline looks, and how I didn't even need to add any more accessories to complete my glam rock daytime look. As the day waned, I decided to curl my hair and add a thin, gold belt to change things up a bit and add a little bit more bling for a dinner out. I love this dress; I can already imagine wearing it as a top or even just as a skirt!

I hope you've taken a gander to check out eShakti's fall collection of dresses. I thought this knit dress really stood out because of the unique color. And to make it my own, I actually customized the length (I wanted it to be a bit over the knee) and sleeve details (cap sleeves for the win!).

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If you're new to eShakti, take advantage of the code LAURAGALLARDO to save you $25 off your first order! Snag yourself a gorgeous custom-fit dress, top, or skirt! 

the appeal of a graveyard is lost on me

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Most of my outfit photos are right around my neighborhood, wherever I find a more or less empty spot without too many cars or other unsightly things. Sometimes, on the rare occasion that I'm not rushing, I like to drive to my favorite photo spots to take pictures in pretty places like here or here. Then there are the even rarer occasions when we stumble upon a place like this couch graveyard.

It's a total mess.There were a bazillion couches just dumped there, a lot of them still in pretty good condition. You'd be able to take your pick from an assortment of colors and materials. I reluctantly agreed to have my photos taken, unsure about how to "pose" among my inanimate co-subjects. But even after they snapped pictures, both B (my husband) and J (my friend) wanted to linger and take even more photos  of the couches. Clearly, there's something I wasn't getting.

What we did all get afterwards, however, was Indian food. Yum.


That one song that I made to fit the body of this post

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So I don't know about you, but I sometimes I feel really happy whenever I visit my favorite blogs and see that there haven't been any new posts in a while. I feel immensely overjoyed whenever the latest post is one that I've already read, and therefore, I can go on to the next blog, fingers crossed that they too haven't updated in a while.

I guess I'm not really feeling happiness as much as I am relief. I try to allot a bit of time each day for blogging and returning comments, but try as I may, there just never seems to be enough time. Whenever I find a blog that doesn't have a new post  from 20 seconds ago, I feel like I found a kindred spirit. Because, really, between work, chores, reading, crafting, and spending time with friends and family, where can one really find the time to blog regularly? (Q: how do you a-post-a-day bloggers do it?)

Instead of stressing about it, I decided to just chill. It's my blog, and I'll blog when I want to. 

I hope we all know better

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A conversation I recently had with a co-worker has been nagging me. Our chat stemmed from a visit from one of our regular customers who brings her daughter with her whenever she shops. The "regular" is in her late 50's/early 60's, and her daughter is around 30. The regular lives in a very rural area here in Illinois, and her daughter works in a larger city out of state comparable to Portland or Boise.

The clientele for the store I work in are mostly in their late 50s, and the clothing we sell is tailored to fit their needs and aesthetic, which is largely conservative (think: high necklines, lower hemlines) and less-trendy (paisley everywhere, all the time). The regular's daughter loves dressing her mom, who is very conservative and loves the clothes in the store. The daughter, however, wears her own style, which is quite akin to Joan from Madmen in many ways. (Think: red hair, round hips, figure-hugging). And the daughter always wears heels and a bright red lip.

It's no secret that I admire the daughter's style. I compliment her every time she comes in. It's also no secret that I hope never to wear the clothes I now sell. BUT I don't bash the people who love that style and wear it with pride. That's not the case with my co-worker.

As soon as the mother and daughter left, she ranted about how awful the daughter's sense of style was and how she should hide her fat instead of flaunting it. Apparently, figure-hugging clothing is a no-no in some fashion book. My co-worker was genuinely confused when she asked me, "why would you wear a vibrant, sateen emerald green dress AND red lips when shopping in a mall?"

Of course, I found nothing wrong with the daughter's style choices. Just as much as I found nothing wrong with the mother's ensemble which consisted of a baby blue bib sweater, twill khakis, baby blue orthopedic loafers, and baby blue purse (all the exact same shade of baby blue, mind you). To me, as I tried to explain to my co-worker, one's style choices are their own. We shouldn't force them to choose differently, unless they ask for our help. And we have no right to judge how people choose to look because we don't know and cannot be absolutely sure why they choose to look that way.

I guess what I'm coming to is that I embrace all aesthetics. Sure, there are a lot that I personally don't find appealing for myself to wear, but I embrace them nonetheless. It bugs me when judgments are made based on a person's manner of dress. It's unfair and very discriminatory.

I'm not sure I convinced my co-worker, who looked at me like I was crazy after I gave my spiel. She may have thought I was stretching it when I compared her comments to bullying. But we all know better, right? 

Dear Non-Real Entities,

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Can you imagine how ecstatic I was when the mercury finally dipped below 70 over the weekend? Layering Weather, you've come at last! I finally don't feel naked in public anymore because of wearing just one layer (apart from my underoos)! I can finally let my hair down without sweating profusely! Oh Layering Weather, you've made me so giddy, I actually busted out my pink specs that make me look like Janine from the Ghostbusters cartoon.

Notice something different about my giddy self, Layering Weather? I dyed my hurrr black (again). As much as I liked my ombre highlights, they were getting to be this nasty shade of orangutan, which just didn't match a lot of my non-orangutan clothes. So it's back to black. For how long, you ask? Who knows? 

How to: balance the blahs with the yums

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You know what saps energy faster than when a guy loses his virginity? Staying positive.

It's been a rough week for me, and I finally have a free moment to relax. My house smells like a hospital because of all the disinfectant sprayed in the basement, and we've had to endure the constant rumbling of the industrial dehumidifier running 24/7. Apart from that, work has been less-than-pleasant, and it doesn't look like my load is letting up soon. I'm not complaining-- honest. I'm just really exhausted.

I've been trying to balance out my blahs with yums. And pita pizzas are definitely helping. What? You've never had a pita pizza before? Well, get thee to a food stuffs shop and buy them ingredients! I recommend making your pitas from scratch, but if you can't, please get the good stuff. It tastes so much better. Oh, and did I mention this recipe was vegetarian?

Pita Pizzas (that make the world go 'round)
Ingredients:
Pitas
Tomato Sauce seasoned with oregano, basil, pepper, a bit of sugar, and some garlic.
Blanched spinach, with the excess water squeezed out
FRESH mozzarella
caramelized onions
cherry tomatoes, slices
sauteed mushrooms (in butter and garlic, of course)
olives (for my husband)
more cheese (we used feta and a chunk of parmesan we found in the fridge)

Directions:
1. Prepare all the ingredients before assembling pizza.
2. Heat your oven up to 400F
3. Top your pitas with assorted toppings
4. Place pitas on a baking sheet and into the oven for 5-8 minutes, or until the cheese has melted.
5. Enjoy your happiness on a plate.

Happy weekend, everyone!

this jacket is relentless

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Thank you, all, so much for your sweet comments from my last post. There's still a bit of work to be done (by professionals, not us!) in the basement today, but after that we should all be good to go. As we drove to get groceries last night, my husband and I passed through a few neighborhoods where you could tell people also got flooded. I am just glad that we're all safe and that we managed to save some stuff.

I haven't been feeling very enthusiastic about dressing up since the weekend, but my newly-acquired floral jacket keeps on begging to be worn. It's still pinned at the back, but I wear it out anyway. It's relentless, and I'm powerless against it. Don't be surprised if you see this jacket in a bunch of posts soon. (Kidding!) 

the comics are all right

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On Saturday, I had to work a 12 hour shift, and my husband decided to stay in lab until I was done at 9:15pm. As luck would have it, my co-worker didn't get done until 10, so I had to wait that much longer. There was a tornado warning active that night, and people were freaking out about all the rain and the chance of a tornado. But I stayed completely positive, looking forward to a treat of a dinner when I got home.

When we came through the door, we immediately noticed that our kitties were acting strange. So my husband headed to the basement where we keep all the cat accoutrement so he could feed them, but as he turned the lights on, he discovered that our basement had flooded completely. The water was ankle deep. Did I mention this was shit-water? UGH UGH UGH.

A lot of our stored stuff is totally unsalvageable. My electric keyboard was totally soaked, as is my printer and most of my husband's luggage. All my comic book character plushies are drenched, and a lot of my winter clothing and bags are pretty much destroyed. Our wedding photos are also ruined, and a lot of my husband's letters to me are gone :(

On a much much MUCH brighter note: all our comics are in pristine condition, and our ice cream maker is safe!

To our surprise, the city actually sent their trucks out at 2:00am that night to flush the sewers, so we didn't have to clean up all that water in the basement. We live in a very old neighborhood, so the sewer system is really old and needs constant tending to. Our landlord was really great and got people to come in on Sunday to clean, flush, disinfect, and dry our whole basement. They're even taking care of taking out all the garbage!

Though this meant we didn't have to clean up, we still had to move a ton of the stuff that didn't get destroyed. And then we had to wipe up some mess. And we're exhausted.

Sorry to put a damper (HA!) on your Monday morning, but I just wanted to update you on the goings on around here. I've been really busy with work (that's another story, oh and you'll enjoy it) and making cute thing for the store. I promise to get a new outfit post up tomorrow. But for now, I'm still concentrating on getting everything cleaned up and catching up with chores that didn't get done over the weekend.

Thank you so much for all the kind words on twitter and Instagram. I'm all right, really! And I hope you all are safe and staying dry.