Friday, April 15, 2011

Switchover to the new Blog!

Okay, friends... it's done. :)
I've exported both the Thursday Night Supper Club blog and Paris Vicarious over to my all-in-one blog, called


Add it to your Google Reader, RSS, or whatever you use to keep up on blogs, because I'll no longer be posting here.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

30x30x5



After work today I changed things up a bit.

Grey pants: Wal-Mart (who knew Wal-Mart had cute clothes?? I didn't until a week ago)
White shirt: Wal-Mart
Grey flats: Target
Necklace: No idea whatsoever.
Bangles: Mix of Target and Forever 21

30x30x4

Today I wanted to wear something I normally wouldn't... so I knotted a silk scarf I got in Paris a bunch of times along the length of it and turned it into a bracelet. I like.




Dress: Target
Shirt: Wal-Mart
Shoes: Kohl's
Earrings: Target
Silk Scarf/bracelet: Dawali in Paris

30x30x3

Yesterday after work, I changed into something a little more comfy for dinner out with friends.

Cardigan: Target
Tank: Target
Pants: Target (der...)
Necklace: Target
Bracelet: Wal-Mart
Shoes: some store in Paris I can't remember the name of. I loooove these shoes.

Ready, set... export.

Hi, friends! I am getting ready to combine two blogs into a single (third) blog.
Paris Vicarious (a.k.a. the silly english kaniggit) and the Thursday Night Supper Club will be combined onto one blog. Coming soon. :)

So, if anything gets messed up in the meantime, don't mind me. And if I accidentally delete it all, heaven help me--I'll be bawling for days.

Mwah.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

30x30x2

Here is day two. My lovely co-worker took these pictures out in the gardens at work.

Wow... my legs are so white...



Black ruffle skirt: Nordstrom Rack
Black cardigan: Target
Coral ruffle tank: Nordstrom Rack
Necklace: Target (most likely)
Bracelet: Wal-Mart (who knew?)
Awkward poses: That's all me, baby.

Could I be any happier? Maybe, but not much.

Okay, Kiwi Fresh'ins should pay me for how much I am going to talk up their shoe inserts right now.

In Paris I bought a similar product--a disposable shoe liner--to wear in all my ballet flats that I didn't want to wear socks with.

I have wanted to buy them ever since I've come home, but never found them in the US. Well, today I found them online at Kiwi for Women!!

Seriously, if you like to wear shoes without socks, and you hate the tiny footie socks (since they fall off half the time anyway), you should get some. Find them here: Kiwi Fresh'ins (a.k.a. every girl's lifesaver). They are only $3.99 for a six-pair pack.

I haven't tried this particular brand before, but I think they would have to be seriously unfortunate to disappoint me.

Hooray! (And you're welcome in advance.)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

St. George and Zion National Park

A few weeks ago some friends and I went to stay at my parents' condo in St. George. I went down a day early and spent some time in Zion National Park. Deeee-lightful.


We stopped by the temple for a few minutes, and then drove up above the city to catch the glow of the sunset on the red rocks.




Beautiful, no?


All pics by me.

30x30x1

Here is my first 30x30 ensemble. I wish I didn't look super awkward in that first picture, but what can you do?




Cardigan = Target
Tank = Nordstrom Rack
Pants = Target
Shoes = DSW
Earrings = Target

Thursday, April 7, 2011

30 for 30 (Attempt #2)

So, with the upcoming financial change I'm going to experience as I go back to school, I think it's more appropriate than ever for me to do a wardrobe remix project. I never ended up doing it the first time, so I'm going to start now (well, soon).

I am going to pick my 30 items this week, and then next week I'm going to start the remix. The 11th will be day #1.

Things I already know about the remix:

  • I am going to focus on creating more variety in my casual outfits--since I'll be going back to school and won't have to dress up for work, I want to look more polished while wearing comfortable clothing.
  • I am going to have a hard time picking which shoes to include.
  • I am still going to be really grateful that accessories don't count in the 30 items.
  • I will be completely over taking pictures of myself every day.
So, here goes nothing...

Dreams - Sewing Machine to Vacuum

Recently I've been having very detailed dreams. Very detailed, and very random.

Last night I dreamt that I went to a small appliance store. I wanted to buy a sewing machine (apparently I'm already making plans in my dream for my at-home tailoring), but when I grabbed a sewing machine and turned around to show my mother, it had turned into a vacuum.

The end.

Back in 'Business'


So, I may be starting up the Thursday Night Supper Club again. But it will be on Fridays, since I won't have Friday classes during summer or fall semesters (nice, right?).

I'm excited to get back into the kitchen and start experimenting with new recipes again.

Monday, April 4, 2011

How to Be Poor

Oh, dear.

At the end of this month, I'm leaving the company I've worked for since December of 2003 to go back to school.

I'll be working part-time and focusing on school, which means I am going to be POOR.

Really poor.

Haven't-had-so-little-money-since-I-was-a-freshman kind of poor.

I think I'm going to be bad at it.


Considering the upcoming belt-tightening, I am going to incorporate the following changes starting now:
  1. Way less money for eating out = more cooking at home (maybe a revival of the Thursday Night Supper Club?)
  2. Fewer new clothes... (and more learning how to sew so I can attempt to tailor my own clothes) (oh, scary. I can barely sew a straight line.)
  3. No more buying jewelry (at least not at my current rate...)
  4. Checking books out at the liiiiiibrary, or camping out at Borders and B&N to read new books (raise your hand if you've camped out and read an entire book at the store. No shame.)
  5. Packing lunch every day to eat between work/school.
So, those are the big things that will have to change in my budget.

I would be lying if I said I knew what I was going to do. But I'm happier than I've been in a long time, despite the uncertainty.

Any tips on how to be poor? I know almost everyone has been there at one point or another. What is your biggest money-saving tip?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Starting Over



What with all the changes going on in life right now, I feel like I'm being handed a blank slate, and I have the opportunity to do whatever I want with it. I am starting out at a new ground zero, in the best possible way.

I've spent the last 21 months (!!) since I've been home from Paris thinking about what I wanted to DO with my life--thinking about how to move forward, how to make my mark on the world. There is something in me that can't be content simply living my life without giving back and trying to make the world better.

I've gone back and forth between so many things--things that I really do love and have an interest in, but ultimately realized aren't the best fit for me:

  1. Art History - working as a professor has its perks, I'm well aware. But I don't know that it would make me happy and excited to go to work every day. I think Art History is just a great hobby of mine, not a passion that will translate well into a job. I do still think it would be fun to do museum education, but I think I'll do it on a volunteer basis, rather than as a job. I was mistaking my wonderful sister Amy's passion for Art History as a deeper interest than I really had. Does that ever happen to you? Someone is so passionate about something, that just listening to them makes your heart beat faster, and makes the subject far more interesting to you than it might otherwise be? I feel that way when Amy talks about art. And silent films. :)
  2. Literacy Education - I feel so strongly that education is crucial for every person--man, woman, boy, girl--regardless of their station, religion, access to technology, etc. Everyone should be taught to read and write, learn basic math skills, and learn a trade or attend university. However, ultimately, I don't think I want to be a teacher, and I don't think an administrative position would be very satisfying for me. It's too hands-off.
  3. Fighting Human Trafficking - This is something that I have been thinking about for the last few months. It's something I feel really strongly about getting involved in--I think it's atrocious that there are people on the earth that still think it's okay to buy and sell other human beings for their own benefit. Again, working in this field means I would probably be in an administrative position behind a desk somewhere, which doesn't really appeal to me. I would rather be involved on a volunteer basis or donate money to an organization I believe in.
  4. French Masters, PhD. I love French. I love France. I love francophone literature. But, like I mentioned above, I don't want to be a teacher. I don't really want to be a professor. I am satisfied to just love French and continue to develop my language skills. And go back to France as often as humanly possible.

I have always wanted to be an artist, and for years I thought about graphic design, but beyond knowing that graphic designers made "pretty things," my knowledge of the profession was pretty limited, and I didn't know that it was very possible to make a living as a designer. I thought being a graphic designer would be more along the lines of the "struggling artist," which I didn't think I could handle. Now, after having worked really closely with the graphic designers at my company for a few years, I have a much better understanding of the different kinds of projects graphic design involves, a little bit of the process, the back-and-forth with customer/company expectations, and the crazy hours that the designers often work leading up to a huge deadline. And also how much they make, which isn't the deciding factor, but a comforting reassurance that I wouldn't be destitute doing what I loved.

I think for a long time I did French because I loved it, and for a long time I kept doing it becauase I was good at it. Once I realized I didn't want to be a teacher, the career options seemed really limited.

But here's the realization I had a couple of weeks ago, when I sat down to think about what really makes me happy:

If I didn't have to worry for one second about my personal financial security, what would I want to do all day?

Paint. Draw. Create.

So that's what I'm going to do. I am going back to school to get a BFA in Art and Visual Communication, with an emphasis in Graphic Design (and a second emphasis in Fine Art - Painting, if they'll let me!). When I realized that creativity is what really makes me tick, everything fell into alignment for me: it felt way more authentic than Art History (for obvious reasons, mentioned above), it felt more marketable and more like something I would like to do for a living than French, and it's something I am geniunely interested in and want to develop skills in (and have wanted this for years, without daring to do it).

And here's the best part: I can do all of the things I mentioned above! I can continue to love and learn French, I can be involved in Literacy Education, I can help fight human trafficking, and I can support cultural and museum education/outreach, all through graphic design. I can have my cake and eat it, too, without changing my qualifications every time I turn around. Talk about the best of both worlds.

I got accepted to school on Friday, and I start in May.

I can't wait.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Visual Nocturne, Musical Nocturne

The last little while I've been really inspired by this painting by James McNeil Whistler.
It's called Nocturne in Black and Gold : The Falling Rocket.
It's an impressionist piece depicting fireworks and the resulting smoke lingering over the Thames.


File:James Abbot McNeill Whistler 012.jpg


Also, this website will create a reproduction in any size starting at about $150. Hello. If I had any money, this would be on my wall. ANd I would stare at it while listening to this:

Fake goals

Today I officially deleted my 101 Things in 1001 days page. I still want to do all of those things at some point, but I don't want to worry about achieving something that it ultimately insignificant just because I put it on a list and gave myself a random deadline.

I would rather make thoughtful and meaningful goals for myself and work consistently toward those achievements, rather than 'achieving' things that really don't matter (like making 10 kinds of cookies successfully. Who really cares if every time I make cookies they turn out gross? That's what pre-made dough is for.).

I feel like that's all I have to say on this particular subject. Goodbye, fake goals. See you on my bucket list.

Paved with Good Intentions

I'm going to ignore the fact that the beginning of the well known proverb states that it's the path to Hell that's paved with good intentions.

Instead, I choose to believe that the path to a happy future is paved (a.k.a. awkwardly cobbled together) with good intentions, half-starts, mistakes, and refining moments, which eventually become less and less messy and lead to calm, authenticity, and joy.

I dropped out of school. I love art history, but I don't want to DO art history. I know. You can mock me. I pick something I want to do and I am gung-ho for a while, and then change my mind.*

In other (very much related) news, I have come to a mutual decision with my boss that I'll only be at my current job until April sometime. I'm not happy here, and we both know it. He wants me to be happy (and so do I), and he needs someone in my position who is passionate about it (which I am not).

So, lots of things to think about in the coming weeks. Lots of prayer, trips to the temple, self-reflection, and a lot of facing my fears. The things I think I would love to do for a living are not really that stable (painting, designing jewelry). The only exception to that is graphic design, which I am currenly considering. It's creative, which I love, and it also gives me a skill that will allow me to work for companies and organizations that I really believe in (UNESCO, art museums, anti-trafficking organizations, literacy organizations, etc.), without changing my qualifications every time I turn around.

Here's to getting a second Bachelor's Degree. Oy. At least this one will be marketable. :)

Wish me luck!



*And I reserve the right to keep doing so until I've found my happy place.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Closet cleanout and repurposing

I've been cleaning out my closet lately, trying to get rid of the things that are unflattering, don't fit, or that I just don't like. That's partly what inspired the whole 30 for 30 thing.

On what seems like a totally unrelated note, I've been wanting to find some little cloth shoe bags that I could put shoes in when I travel so my shoes don't get my other clothes dirty.

So I'm going to beg friends and family with sewing machines to let me come over and use them for an afternoon, and I'm going to chop up my old clothes and turn them into my travel bags.

But I've got to do it soon. I'm so over 'someday' projects and having piles of stuff that 'I'm going to do something with' lying around gathering dust.

30 for 30

I recently started reading a fashion blog called Kendi Everyday, and she occasionally does what she calls a 30 for 30. Basically, you pick 30 items from your closet and you can only wear those 30 items over the next 30 days in whatever combinations you can come up with. Accessories and jewelry are not included in the 30 items (thank heavens) but shoes are.

And here's the kicker--what really makes me want to do it. The other 'rule' is that you can't shop for those 30 days. So as you're mixing and matching what you've got, you will get a sense of what needs you have in your closet, rather than just buying random things.

I've been thinking recently about how many items of clothing I have in my closet that 1) don't look good on me and 2) I don't wear that often. So I thought this would be a good exercise so I could get a feel for what basics I'm lacking and what items I would really like to add to my closet--just the selection of 30 items seems like it will be pretty revealing.

The 30 for 30 is supposed to start Feb 1 and go for 30 days. So... we'll see what happens.

(And can I just say again how grateful I am that jewelry is not included in the 30 items? If I could only wear jeans and a black or white t-shirt for 30 days I still think I could get 30 looks out of my jewelry alone. Does that mean I'm cheating already?)

(And does it mean I'm cheating if I have things I want to buy before the 30 days start?)