Monday, June 30

Rice and Beans Vintage

Just because I don't have any money or need for shoes doesn't mean I can't look.  So when I stumbled upon Rice and Beans Vintage, my eyes almost fell out from ogling at all the pretty shoes. Here are a few that I had a hard time looking away from:

I always get excited finding vintage designer items. While I doubt I'll ever splurge, it's still fun to look at these old shoes and seeing how classic they are and how so classic a style never seems to change. One item I am keeping an eye out for is an old Missoni sweater. But I doubt I'll ever find one I can afford. Still hope you enjoy shopping!

Friday, June 27

Book Tags

Thanks to Couture Carrie for tagging me. Here are the guidelines:

1. Pick up nearest book
2. Open to page 123
3. Find the 5th sentence
4. Post the next 3 sentences
5. Tag 5 people, and acknowledge who tagged you.

The book on my bedside table is Villette by Charlotte Bronte. The three sentences to post are as follows in my copy:

"Under these circumstances, a ring--even a sharp ring-- was a matter of course: yet this particular peal had an accent of its own, which chased my dream, and startled my book from my knee. I was stooping to pick up this last, when--firm, fast, straight--right on through vestibule, along corridor, across carre, through first division, second division, grand salle--strode a step, quick, regular, intent. The closed door of the first classe--my sanctuary--offered no obstacle; it burst open, and a paletot and a bonnet grec filled the void; also two eyes first vaguely struck upon, and then hungrily dived into me."

Phew! Can Charlotte write a run-along sentence or what? Anyway, I tag:
Can't wait to see what these gals are reading!

Follow Up: The perfect pumps

It's a humid, stormy day in Minneapolis and I'm coping the  best way I know: remaining stationary and slurping a cherry popsicle. However the latter makes it difficult to type. Anyway about a week ago I realized I needed a new pair of heels. Thus began a long search to find the cheapest, cutest heels around. I got loads of great recommendations. Finally I found what I'd been looking for at Black Raven Vintage

The transaction went beautifully. The shoes arrived today in beautiful condition with a friendly letter. The shoes fit as though they were made for my feet. So I'm happy to report a successful purchase from a newly discovered, excellent store!

Oh, and from my popsicle stick: What kind of fruit do trees like? Pineapple.

Thursday, June 26

Dolce & Gabbana

Have you seen the new Dolce & Gabbana ads? I stumbled upon these because they feature my favorite model Alice Burdeu! To me they are always an article of beauty and mystery, there always seems to be a big story behind them to which I know nothing of. Frightfully inspiring though. And these ads seem to have laid out some popular looks for fall. The vagabond gypsy look is absolutely delightful!

Tuesday, June 24

Designer of Note

Stephanie Syjuco of Anti-Factory

According to her site, she uses 100% recycled fabrics, whether it's vintage fabric from stores or extra fabric from factories. A perfectionist, all of her products look beautifully made. Sure, they're somewhat pricey, but they'll last for ages. Here are some examples of her work:
Enjoy these beautiful tanks and have a great summer day! I'm sure you can think of all sorts of lovely ways to style these tanks! Feel free to submit polyvore sets of the tanks if you want!

Sunday, June 22


A pair of good heels. 

I realize I have been wearing my poor Steve Maddens to the ground at work. Could any of you dears please recommend your favorite shoes websites? When I shop, I like to explore every option!

PS. Terribly sorry about the poor quality of the photo. I'm too poor to afford my own camera!

How to: Steampunk

By now you've probably heard of the steam-punk movement. It's one that I've always aspired to emanate. However it can be daunting to stroll down the street in full victorian garb. The successful way to merge any new style into your wardrobe is to introduce individual pieces. Here are some promising ones I dug up on Etsy:

This skirt is adorable. I don't know why but I love bustles and this design incorporates in the classic vintage look in a modern way. Not to mention the blue tulle work wondrously with the plaid. 

This jacket is gorgeous! The color and the detailing! The high collar and long, slim sleeves recall the style of Victorian dresses with an inspired modern twist. 

This brooch has been peeled right off the pages of a Jules Verne novel. While no one can properly define the look, I adore anything that harkens back to the romantic ages and consider it "steam punk" or just plain awesome. Steam punk can be any modern technology modified to look Verne-ian. Tips for how to modify your own electronics can be found at the Steampunk Workshop. Cheers!

Saturday, June 21

Transition season already???

One thing you have to love about fashion, is how ahead of the seasons it is. For instance, the store where I work at has already put the majority of it's summer pieces on sale to make room for fall stuff. And it's only June 21st! And as a poor little pauper like me never buys things full price it is quite handy indeed. I'm sure you all "stalk" certain items, well here are things I know will be perfect for fall that I'm drooling over right now.

To me, this dress screams Audrey Hepburn. So comfortable and professional. Almost any accessory would go with it!

This would be perfect for parties! It would go especially well with my red heels. I love this dress because it's unique but oozes sex. My favorite part is that these are full price now (June) so who knows what they'll be come August/September? The only issue is hoping they don't all get snatched up!

Thursday, June 12

This Weekend I will be:

  • re-working my jersey dress.
  • sewing pop tabs to old tank top
  • losing my wisdom teeth (AH!)
  • finishing Villette
  • fixing my bike (I fell on my morning ride and the bike's somewhat broken)

Wednesday, June 11

DIY Feathered Headbands

Recently I dug out an Urban Outfitters giftcard from the depths of my purse.  It had about $30 on it and while I have stopped shopping there, I would hate for them to earn any money from me so I figured I'd best spend it. I picked out this lovely feathered headband at the exorbitant price of $18, I also snagged a pack of 5 headbands. Now don't get me wrong, I love the look, but it seems pretty easy to replicate. You can pick up some authentic looking feathers at any craft store. Hot glue gun or tape can be used to secure the stems then wrap thread around the base of the feathers to cover up the tape/glue. 

Tuesday, June 10

Penny-pinching: How eat cheap and healthy

I try hard to eat vegan. If I do eat dairy or eggs, I make sure the animals are raised free range. I also peruse online newspapers daily, and CNN seems to be making a fuss about food prices going to way of gas prices. As a poor college student, I am used to scrounging for money to buy food. So if any of you are also trying to eat vegan, veggie or just plain healthy and eco-friendly here are a few recommendations:

These are easy to find in almost any city. Living in the midwest, one of the first things I do when I move to a new city is check out where the farmer's market meets. In Madison, WI it's easy because the farmer's market is in the middle of the city. Fresh produce is available here at inexpensive prices and since it comes from smaller farms the animal products are almost guaranteed free range. 

Here's my strategy for shopping there: either go really early or really late. The pro of going early is that you get to pick the best and freshest of the produce. The con is that the prices are steeper and haggling is more difficult. Not to mention that you have to wake up at 5 am. If you go late, farmers are very persuadable haggle-wise because they just want to pack up and drive home. (I presume to sleep since they must get up at 2, 3 am to start the drive down.)

To find a co-op near you, listen to word of mouth and do some research online. I find being a member has quite a few benefits if you plan to shop there often, not the least of which includes lower prices. 

These aren't everywhere in the US, but if you live on the coasts or the central midwest you may be in luck. Not only do they feature many ethnic foods, but it's also quite inexpensive. Another bonus is that you don't have to join some store club or coupon hunt, it's the lowest price they'll make it. One of my favorite features is the three dollar bottles of wine, known as 3 buck Chuck. 

I hope you find this article helpful!

Monday, June 9


When I was about 5 or 6 and visiting my then-alive great grandmother (dubbed G.G.), I would always love to play with her collection of pillboxes. They were all beautifully detailed and the perfect size for my minute hands. Now that I'm finally taking my own medication (birth control, allergies, etc), I figure rather than have cumbersome (ugly) plastic pharmacy bottles around, I should dig up some of GG's old pillboxes. I find them wondrously classy and stylish. Any thoughts?

Sunday, June 8

Vintage Find!

The weather was divine saturday, the perfect day to hit uptown and window shop. Unfortunately, though my budget can ill afford it, I was seduced by a pair of red leather pumps. These saucy vixens were made in Paris by Charles Jourdan. They carried me all over Uptown and into the discount movie theater later that night. Possibly my favorite feature is the 3.5 inch heels which push me to a solid 5'5"!

Saturday, June 7

Current Covet

Modcloth's Banana Split Heels

These delicious heels make my mouth water. I'm always nervous about buying shoes online because my feet are so picky, going from size 5 to size 8 depending on the style. Still these shoes are tempting me to take the plunge. Perfect for dress and casual, I am worried I won't be able to save all of my Banana Republic paycheck.

Friday, June 6

Party planning

Marie Antoinette knew how to have a good time.

Happy Friday to one and all! I hope you have lots of fun planned, but if not, here are a few last minute ideas:
  • Croquet party: Put on your favorite sundress and sandals and get outside to enjoy this posh english past-time. To feel authentic, you may as well serve tea along with mini pastries. (I've done this multiple times, to great success. Sure it sounds lame, but if your friends are good sports, they're sure to have fun!) Rules for playing croquet can be found here.
  • Foreign movie night: Can't travel this summer? Do the next best thing, immerse yourself in another culture for a night. Feeling french? Make crepes with friends and watch a french movie ( I would suggest L'amour, c'est la folie with Audrey Tatou). Do you and your friends speak spanish? Serve tortillas de patatas while you watch Volver or L'auberge espanol. Germany? Watch the Edukators. Japan? Serve sushi and enjoy Wasabi. If you have ideas for other countries/recipes/movies, please tell me!
  • Mystery: This one is fairly simple, and especially fun when the weather isn't treating you well. Start off with a mystery movie or tv series, I would suggest anything with David Suchet playing Hercule Poirot, though for a more comedic mood, Clue is always a classic. Play mafia to continue the theme as guests try to guess who among them has been dealt a murderous card. 
  • Casino: Dress up (or don't) serve mixed drinks (or non-alcoholic versions if you're underaged) and play a slew of fun card games! 
Do you have any other great ideas? Please share! I hope you all have a glorious weekend!

Thursday, June 5

Energizing Yourself

This afternoon, after I had finished watching Australia's Next Top Model on Youtube, I felt like rolling onto my stomach and falling asleep. I nearly did, but I remembered I have work in an hour. With Minneapolis weather so dismal and depressing lately, finding energy to do all the things I want to do has become increasingly difficult, so I did a bit of research and figured I'd share my finds with you.
  • Turn on the light! I always keep lights off during the day because I hate wasting energy, but a surefire way to wake yourself up is to turn on a few lights, this alerts your brain that it's day and starts your circadian rhythm. 
  • Eat a big breakfast. Naturally grown foods are best for energizing you. Carbohydrates such as bread and pasta contain a lot of energy. Also, try these foods:
-soy products (yippee! for vegans!)
-citrus fruits/juices
-low fat dairy products 
  • Exercise. Getting your body stretched out and moving helps wake you up and prepare you for the days activities. Here's a yoga routine I found in The Yoga Deck by Olivia Miller. As with all yoga, hold the position however long you want and repeat as often as you desire. (Usually I get through one repetition in 10 minutes.)
  1. Knee Hug: Hug your knees to your chest, or as close as they will get.
  2. Chair: Stand up straight, making sure your posture is good. Then slowly sink down as though you are about to sit in a chair. Go as low as you can and hold.

  3. Mudra: Lace your fingers behind your back and push away from you. Bend over so that your head is between your knees with you arms still outstretched.

  4. Boat: Lie flat on the floor. Raise your legs and torso as far off the ground as you can, arms outstretched in front of your head. Then, keeping yourself up, pull your arms behind you.

Tuesday, June 3

Tips for Successful Vintage Shopping

I love vintage style. Whether it's the full skirts from the 50s, the mod dresses from the 60s or simply discontinued fabrics and patterns, vintage clothing is guaranteed to set you apart style-wise. 

Finding good vintage clothing is no easy feat. Even if you go to a vintage store, there are many obstacles in your way. Unlike shopping wholesale, you never know exactly what you'll find (which is one of the things I love about shopping used!). Still here are a few guidelines I find handy for buying vintage clothing:
  • Quality, quality, quality! This is quite possibly the most important factor in buying a vintage garment. Are there any stains? What about holes? Try it on in the store if possible to see if there are any flaws you didn't notice on the hanger. 
  • Fabric. Three fabrics that never fail are cotton, silk and cashmere. That isn't to say other fabrics are faulty, but clothing I have bought vintage works best when it is these fabrics. Also check for wear on the fabric. Good indicators include faded color or uneven thickness. Something to look for in woven garments is little balls of lint that cluster around elbow/knee area.
  • If you're planning on reconstructing the piece. Is the fabric usable? If you're a beginner sewer, stay away from stretchy fabrics. Also a good rule of thumb is to make sure the cost of reconstructing the garment costs less than the garment itself. Finally, how time-consuming will the project be? Consider if you have the time available. (Will classes/work take first priority? Are you not going to be around the house much this week?) Otherwise fixer-uppers simply sit by your sewing machine gathering dust. 
Furthermore, vintage sizes are quite a bit smaller than modern ones. We've all heard about how sex goddess Marilyn Monroe was a size 12, but that's her vintage size, giving her a 25 inch waist! Vintage Swank has a lovely page about vintage sizes compared to modern ones. The best rule of thumb I can come up with, is to add 10 to your current size (maybe 12 even) and that's what sizes you should be looking for vintage wise!

Also, to get you in the mood for shopping vintage, here are some places where I've drooled over vintage clothing online:

This Week's Goals

Beautiful photo courtesy of haibar
  • Drink more water! I've been consuming alarming amounts of caffeine recently. Early Grey tea, coffee, diet coke with lime are the main perpetrators. 
  • Start blog! 
  • Get 5 comments on blog. (Fingers crossed).
  • Finish Villette by Charlotte Bronte, author of my favorite book; Jane Eyre.
  • Sew muslin dress. (I find my clothes come out better when I've practiced making them first.)
  • Borrow camera for articles! Alas I am at a huge disadvantage in the blogosphere in that I do not own a camera. Still, I know many people who do so it shouldn't be a huge obstacle!
What are your goals for this week?

Monday, June 2

Look Swimsuit Fit, in one day

Alice Burdeu, one of my favorite models, looking gorgeous for AusNTM.

You don't need to be stick thin to look good in a swim suit, in fact, women with curves fill out swimsuits better. But nobody is perfect, nor do they have the perfect body. So for those days when an swimsuit party catches you unawares, here a few tricks to looking better.
  • Drink H2O and caffeine. If you have a heads up to the swimsuit occasion, make sure you drink a lot of water the day of. Then, about an hour before the event, drink some caffeine (coffee, black tea, soda, etc). The water  helps rinse impurities out of your system and the caffeine dehydrates you, thus flushing out the water, helping you feel trimmer as you lose water weight.
  • Work out. I do about 10 push-ups and 50 sit-ups, but you can do whatever works for you. These exercises tone your muscles and keep them clenched, giving you a fitter appearance for a few hours. 
  • Pick a suit that works with your skin tone. Dark colors don't reflect light, thus making you appear smaller. However this can backfire if you are pale like me (I've been referred to as a glow worm). Pale skin will reflect light, giving the illusion of being a bit larger. So the trick is to find a suit that works well with your coloring without making parts of your body seem disproportionate. One color I've found works well for pale skin is red or purple. 
  • Moisturize! After you've donned your suit, massage moisturizing lotion onto exposed skin. Skin that is hydrated looks healthier and feels firmer.
Now that you've done all you can, enjoy yourself! Confidence draws much more admiration and attention than your appearance ever will.