Dust it off.

Hello there.

Let me take a moment and dust off the cobwebs. Crank up the heat and crack my fingers as I try to remember how this whole blogging thing works. It's been a very long time since I've been to this space. This little hole in the cyber world that I wanted to be my own.

But, the funny thing about having your own blog or place to write -- at least for me -- is that you start to second guess all of the things you've written.

 I start a sentence and then I stop.

Because it doesn't make very much sense to write something if you have no interest or purpose in what you're writing. All around me I'm surrounded by familiar places and ideas and brilliant pieces of writing, but nothing I wrote seemed to give me satisfaction.

Be honest. But, not too honest, because honesty only sells as much as the handbag that you're hawking. Be friendly, but don't be annoying. Build an audience, but don't try so hard.

When I first started reading blogs about five or six years ago they were these vast journals with a sea of different options and titles and subjects. And, now as I read through the same ones I read then they all seem to say same thing. Lifestyle is the new medium. Teach me how to live! Teach me how to think! Teach me what to buy, how to speak, how large the frames of my glasses should be!

It's not honest anymore and it's frustrating, because this vast place was supposed to be honest and hopeful and so much less like the monetized monopoly it has become. In the last year, I've written a lot of posts. A lot. And I've never published one of them. Because if I am being perfectly honest with myself the perfect green winter coat is not all that important. Pretty fabrics and organization materials don't make me gasp with anticipation or happiness.

I wanted this place to be like that. I wanted to feel like all of those trivial, mundane things excited me. But they don't.

And if I'm being honest -- which I'm really trying to be -- those things are the only things that are selling today. In July, I wanted to write about writing and my friendships and my life. I still do. I just...don't know does anyone even read that anymore? Does anyone care about human emotions or feelings if they're not the "right" ones? If they don't "fit" the situation?

Nevertheless, this is my day one. For so many reasons. For so many things. Day one of being healthy. Day one of not letting my depression and fear of myself control me. Day one of writing again.

And, day one of this. This place to be cathartic and beautiful and flawed and me.

Happy Monday.

{i want this.}
Let's all take a long, yoga breath and shake the dreariness (read: hangovers) from Sunday and embrace a new week. Was that new age-y enough? I feel like that's the effect I was going for. Nevertheless, I have waxed poetically about my love of Mondays here and let's continue with that.

What's so great about Mondays? Everything. Start of a new week. Dates and parties to RSVP to. Bills to be paid. Maybe not that one.

I love Mondays. That should be read to the tune of I hate Mondays. Remember this is a campaign. Monday gets the short end of the stick.

If you are not a Monday person I suggest you pull your big girl panties up, turn on a Matt & Kim album (or this) and do a crazy dance. Seriously. Randomly start dancing wherever you are and then send it to me. It will make my Monday even better.

Or, you can do what I've done and curl up with a mug of tea and the Harry Potter series and start reading. That is amazinggggg.

Happy Monday, ya'll!

Psst...The photo is from here. I don't know if you can get it, but I want it soooo badly. 

On Finding Inspiration...And, Holding Onto It.

{pretty. and has nothing to do with this post}
I have been in a bit of a funk the last few months and most of that had to do with this blog. It seems stupid really, but I felt stifled by my own personal corner of the internet. I didn't have anything to contribute to the bloggersphere and I felt a bit frustrated by my own reluctance to really share anything.

So, I didn’t post and while I doubt anyone noticed. I noticed. And, this space which should have been a release or a place for me to really work on my writing and interests turned into a weird disjointed place that had no meaning. I wanted it to be intelligent, so I tried to write like a “journalist”. I wanted to be funny, so I tried to be…well, funny. I wanted to be real, so I wrote about things that affected me. And, then I deleted them, because I was letting you {whoever you are} in and that was scary.

I was stuck and as dumb as it may sound, I feel like now after a few months of strangely sporadic posting I have a better handle on this place and what I want it to be and what I want to write about. I want to write about how I feel. I want to write about the random daily occurrences that I run into. When my friends say something funny or we laugh so hard that we end up on the ground gasping for air? I want to write about that. I want to write about writing. The weird exercises I work on and the half-written stories and pages that haunt my computer. I want to write about me, and my confidence or lack thereof, and the cute new pair of shoes I bought without having to write a huge post on the merits of flats.

That’s what I want this place to be. A journal. Not a magazine. Not a rip off of other more successful blogs. Not a place where I post every day, twice a day and constantly have new and innovative ideas. That’s not real. Or, at least, that’s not me. I’m messy. I’m inconsistent and occasionally a bit erratic.

And, I think that’s okay.

In the next few weeks I’m going through some major changes and I want this place to be here. I want to open my browser and come here and just write. So, I’m going to. It may not every day, or maybe it will be, but either way I want to feel comfortable in my very own corner of this very big place. 

The Blouse. The Fit. The Belt.

{from here}
Why, yes, I did just make a post based on one image. And, yes, it is that good. At least to me it is! I'm fairly obsessed with basics. I think they can easily make or break a look and go a long way. A fitted blouse, a great turtleneck, the pair of jeans. That classic look is my idea of fashion and when paired with a quirky piece of jewelry or a fun bag I feel at my best. Which is why this blouse, this image, is the epitome of everything I love. Now if I could find one that is affordable, as gorgeous and would fit my so not model-chic body in the exact same way. If only pinterest was real life...

New (Old) Music

{from here}
I find myself constantly searching for a new sound. Not necessarily a new sound in terms of freshness or Top 40 chart climbing, but a new sound that will draw me in. It can be anything really. Sometimes it is a good beat in a current song (I love Clarity by Zedd and Sweet Nothing by Calvin Harris), other times it is a melodic harmony or interesting verses (White Winter Hymnal by Fleet Foxes and Ballad of a Thin Man by Bob Dylan always do it for me) and sometimes I just like to wallow and feel the overwhelming sadness that I find so utterly enchanting -- and for that I turn to Nick Drake. 

But, today and yesterday and the day before that I searched for a song I had heard in passing and instantly recognized as something I had heard. It was my "tunnel song", I suppose. But, I looked for it. I forgot the words and had little to no idea who had song or wrote it, I just knew it had a hiccup and an unforgettably '70's vibe. 

And, then I found it and I felt stupid and then I was happy, because I found the song! The song I was looking for. It was Serge Gainsbourg and Brigette Bardot's Bonnie and Clyde. Actually, now that I think about I think I heard it in Mad Men. In the episode this season where Joan goes to the club with her friend and seems so out of place? Either way, I still love it and that hiccup? It's genius. 

Psst. Does anyone like Alizee? Or, is it all about Shy'm now on the French Pop Scene? Mademoiselle Juliette is so catchy and fun. 

The Hair Chronicles

new hairs. also known as my official {debut} on the blog.

I have been saying for the last five (six? seven?) months that I was going to do something drastically different. I am going to wear eye liner everyday. I'm going to get a double piercing. I'm going to dye my hair.

Today, I got a pixie cut.

It is rather amazing and so far -- as in, in the last 8 hours -- I feel pretty damn confident in how I look. For me, hair is one thing I know makes or breaks how I feel about myself. For some people it may be their weight or their skin and while those two things definitely put a damper on my mood if my hair is awful and I'm not happy with it than I'm not happy with me.

So, I had it all cut off. I had a pretty awful relaxer a few months ago and I tried growing it out, but if anyone has ever tried to grow out a relaxer without 'the big chop' than you know what I mean when I describe the weird, stringy in-between stage. It was like walking around with straw for hair. I hated it and wore my hair in this weird ponytail thing and that did nothing for my face.

I was going for a cross between Natalie Portman and this, but I ended up with more of a hybrid of Audrey Tautou/Halle Berry as far as style goes. I love it. I feel more like me than I ever have been before.

So, that is my rusty attempt at getting back into blogging and showing up my luxuriously easy {and new} haircut!

Mother Nature Hates Minnesota

Or, maybe she just hates me. It's snowing. In April. At the end of April and I am not feeling it. The snow was nice in December, it was sweet in January and February, it was even tolerable in the beginning of March. But, April 22nd? And, it's still snowing? Someone up there has it out for me and I don't like it.

Pretty {Needless} Things

{Carolina Herrera for Target}
I would love to say I am a minimalist person at heart. That I could live with the bare minimum and be happy, but the truth is that is not probable. I enjoy things. I like collecting and having mementos of occasions. I save every ticket to every play, concert, or musical I go to and even occasionally hold onto movie tickets if it was really, really good. I never get rid of books -- instead I save them and rearrange them a bit like a scavenger hunt. A children's book here. A classic there. I keep every picture on flash drives and tucked between books and I rarely organize my closet. I suppose the case could be made that I am a packrat, but I really don't have much things it is just that the things I do have I know I could never part with.

Does that make sense?

Regardless, my point is that I love things. Especially pretty things. Fabric that I would never do anything with. Photos of nothing, but really they're photos of everything. Little notebooks with embossed writing and matching pencils. I love stationary. But, honestly, I have no use for it. I have a lovely calligraphy set with the prettiest case and the most beautiful sets of pens and I've never used it. Notebooks purchased from here that sit on my desk waiting to be opened. Handmade and bound notebooks that I have yet to use, but can't bear to throw away. Because they are pretty.

 
{Nani Iro by Naomi Ito}

I know it is probably a bit strange to hold onto things that I don't use and maybe I am a bit daft at the end of the day, but when I do organize my space and I display all of my pretty things having frivolous bits of fabric folded in my dresser, and stationary on my desk just seems quaint and quite charming.

{Smooth Pebble Studio}
 
So, how about everyone else? Do you enjoy collecting pretty objects? Notebooks? Blankets? Clothes or Jewelry? Or, are you the type of person who can just live comfortably without unnecessary items? Are you a minimalist at heart?

On Black Turtlenecks and Embracing Our Flaws

{source: volts}
I'm a cowl-neck sweater type of girl. Crew necks give me a rather unflattering shape and V-necks leave me rather self conscious. So, I go for the in-between -- a cowl-neck. It hits in the right places and gives my problem areas the space they need to go away.

But, really I want to look good in turtlenecks. It is a weird goal. I know. I mean turtlenecks aren't exactly known for being sexy, except they are. And, I think I'd probably look pretty cute in one. I mean Marilyn Monroe wore one in one of the most beautiful and iconic photos she ever took. Plus, I have breasts* similar to her. So, I should be able to wear one right?

Wrong.

Like most women, I find even when I know I look good or I know I could pull something off I hesitate. Because, also like most women, I have flaws. I have cellulite and my weight is never what I want it to be and quite frankly I wish I was flat-chested, taller and a size zero. But, that's not in the cards for me. I'll never be able to pull off cute, peter-pan collared dresses. It just won't work and accepting that has taken a lot of time and effort. And, I'm still not there.

For a girl who went from the shortest and scrawniest girl in school to the curviest (I jumped three cup sizes in less than a year) I have the marks to prove it. You don't sprout breasts and hips overnight and not be left with the consequences. I'm marked up and it freaks me out. Especially, when I go to class and I'm surrounded by athletes and tall, Nordic girls with perfect hair and skinny bodies.

So, what does that have to do with turtlenecks? Everything. I'm buying one. A black, form-fitting turtleneck. And, I'm buying a new bra, because nobody wants to see a girl in a turtleneck with an ill-fitting bra. I'm going to rock it. It will be my Marilyn moment and maybe no one will notice or think I'm sexy and that's okay, because I'm going to feel sexy and my opinion is the only one that matters.