Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Shakin' the Blues.

I started my day a little bit on the frisky side.

I dressed up in my vintage finest, told Mom to clear my schedule (like I have one..) and went off to have lunch at Mykel's. I promptly ordered a Devil's Club martini, saucy indeed, and we enjoyed a long lunch together.

It felt very much like Mad Men. My mom told me I should cherish this break that I have to myself, this time without bills to pay, prepared meals, chauffeured service, sleeping in, and lazy days in negligees, but I scoffed and told her it would continue to happen...Someday in the future!

She is right though, time and time again. She's like my conscience, always there to lift me out of the dumps, with a cup of coffee and a helping hand. Especially on winter days that start with rain. Rain! Talk about weather to make you blue.

Well, I took it literally today and donned an outfit in shades of blue in the hopes of poking jest at my occasional dip into the blues. As much as I adore and cherish this break, I can't help but feel anxious sometimes at the uncertainty of my future. What I have to remember, and what my mom continues to remind me, is that life takes its time and I mind as well enjoy each and every day and take it for what it is.

So in the meantime, I mind as well have a good time, shakin' the blues...

What I wore: mint Aerie sunglasses, mint sea glass earrings (handmade in AK), turquoise Lilli Ann swing coat (antique store), beaded knitted sweater (consignment), brown high-waisted vintage Promenade skirt (consignment), sparkly Kate Spade fishnet tights, brown BCBG ankle boots (consignment), and mint handbag (consignment).

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Bad Girls.

I stumbled upon a gem of a book the other day whilst having lunch in town. I was perusing the tables, contentment sitting in my stomach (pie can do that to you), and the cover caught my eye.

"Bad Girls Throughout History." 100 Remarkable Women Who Changed the World.  Yes please!

I only flipped through it's pages briefly before buying it and taking it home with me. I couldn't resist!

This is a must read. For women, for men, for anyone who's compelled to read about some pretty wicked women who broke through barriers and inspired others to follow suit.

What intrigues me about this particular book, besides reading about inspiring women of all eras, ethnicities, and professions, is that it's a call to action book.

The author, Ann Shen, explains that to be a dubbed a "bad girl" entails breaking any socially accepted rule. To be bad is to rewrite the rules, and to make a dent in that glass ceiling. It's a book that educates and inspires, with beautiful illustrations alongside it.

I get excited just looking at it, and I've learned so much about women and what they went through to stand up for what they believed in!

Like Lilith, Adam's lesser-known first wife. She was rejected from mention in the Bible because she refused to be subservient to Adam (he wanted her to lie beneath her, she insisted on laying beside him to be equal). "Kicked out of paradise for demanding equality."

Or there's Lady Godiva! When an additional tax was implemented to help pay for the king's guard, she pleaded with her husband Leofric (who levied the tax) to lift it, only to be challenged to ride through town naked. What did she do? She rode through town naked, with her golden hair as cover, and then the tax was lifted. "Rode horseback covered only in her hair."

It just inspires me profusely! I mean, (wo)man. We cannot forget these incredible female figures, and we must learn from their strong behavior and determination, and continue to add to this female legacy.

And we must educate! I asked my dad this evening if he could guess five female influential figures in this book, and after immediately joking "Wait, there were over 100?", he came up with a whopping three. Three!

Remember, you are never too old, too small, or too late to live the life you're meant to lead...

 Future editor and current coffee lover...

One of my favorite icons of all time (Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel), one who quite stylishly shattered the glass ceiling of women's fashion, stays with me everyday...

A few teasing quotes...

Edith Head..

 And Maya Angelou..

Then there's me. "Drink more coffee!"

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Winter Women's March.

I woke first to the smell of a homemade breakfast a-brewing, then to the snowy sight that smiled at me from outside.

Now this is how a weekend should begin!

There was no way we were staying indoors on a day like today and so as the sun reached it's highest point in the sky, we zipped over to Headquarters Lake on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge.

Tucked away from the main road, you just have to walk a few minutes down the trail before coming to the edge of a massive frozen lake: open, and ours for the taking.

Sure, there were a few cross country skiers and fellow walkers, but for the most part, we had empty snow ahead of us just waiting for a fresh pair of new tracks to grace its surface.

Perfect day for spending the time with family, as well as enjoying the great outdoors.

It also happened to be Women's March Day, so yay for women! I myself did my part in tromping through the wilderness with snow in my hair, appreciating nature and those whom I was with, a confident, but more importantly, a happy woman.

That, to me, is what the Women's March is about. Reveling in the awesomeness that is womanhood, empowering your sisters, and spreading the happiness of who you are. And while the march was one day, womanhood should be celebrated each and every day, because you are a woman every day and that is cause enough to celebrate!

What a splendid sunny day...

As it was also Anton's last day home *sad face*, I obliged to his request to face plant into the snow. I have to say, it was well worth it!

This creates an entire new meaning to the word "snowpants."

Friday, January 20, 2017

Burrrr, Says Buddha.

We have just now come out of hibernation.

And it's not because of some exciting snowfall (although it did come ironically on the same day); but rather, freezing weather.

I thought -7 degrees was bad! We hit some unbelievable -26 temperatures and that doesn't even compare to the -49 degrees that other parts of the state reached.

So you can imagine that I've been cooped up in my wood house, glued to the fireplace and obsessed with having slippers on my feet at all times. I only go out when necessary and when I do, I make sure to don every available glove and scarf to avoid any chances of my skin meeting the frigid air.

This has been going on all week long.

Luckily, we woke to soft snowfall this morning and as the afternoon and evening wore on, it didn't let up and I daresay we're going to be finally getting that winter wonderland we've all been wishing for.

One of the treasures I've stumbled across in being homebound against the raging cold is an old book that a dear friend of mine recommended a while back called The Buddha Walks into a Bar written by Lodro Rinzler. I don't actually recall cracking open the book back when I bought it, and I have to admit, I was a bit hesitant even now about reading a book "about Buddhism."

And it was in the first twenty pages that I stumbled across the line: "The purpose of studying Buddhism is not to study Buddhism, but to study ourselves."

So I continued to read.

I have to say, it's a very enlightening book and if there's a few things I've learned as core themes, it's to remain open-minded, practice being generous and compassionate, and to always be present. Quite important, and rather simple practices. And once you nail those yourself, other people follow suit. Then pretty soon, the whole world is engaged with their open hearts and basic goodness!

Quite inspiring.

So although I've been cooped up and locked-in all week, I learned how to be present in my homebound situation, engaged with what was going on around me and appreciative of the comfort of my couch, the crackle of the fire, the merino wool against my skin, and the view outside my window. Instead of wishing for warmer temperatures, more snowfall, and something exciting to occupy my day, I took a deep breath and looked at all the simple splendor around me, remembering this:

"If we could relax our idea of how things should be and appreciate them as they are, then the world would be magically transformed into a rich ground of opportunities..." 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

1930's, Flirty, and Thriving.

The epitome of Hollywood glamour, the height of sensual screen sirens, the luxurious satin and silk, the lace, the pin curls held back by rhinestone clips, wait. Is that also Amelia Earhart who just flew in?

It would appear as if I have taken a break from the year 2017 and hopped on a plane and flew backwards in time to the '30s.

As it so happens, the evening was spent celebrating the Sixth Annual Cocktail Party, hosted by our very dear friend Heidi. Set amidst a scene perfectly adorned with bottles of St. Germain and appropriate cigarettes and proper decorum, Heidi's house was the picture of glamour, decorated with women dressed in their '30s best.

Not only did I enjoy the exquisite setting (and cocktails and snacks), but I very much enjoyed the socializing aspect. Phones left at home and candles lighting the room, it allowed me to focus on the present and enjoy conversation with some very interesting ladies. It made me appreciate how special it is to look up from your screen and listen to the world around you. You learn far more and it takes you back to a time where parties were meant for socializing and not snapchatting.

I know that as time goes on, things change and other fads come in and become the center of attention, but it doesn't lessen the fact that I believe in enjoying an event without the distraction of a device. And they had cameras back then, so I wasn't cheating when I took that particular electronic with me!

Plus, I'll never pass up the opportunity to dress up from another decade and sip on fancy French cocktails...

Our lovely hostess Heidi pouring quite the collection of cocktails...

Food, booze, and lovely ladies. What an evening...

As the 1930's are a rather difficult decade to dress for, I was lucky to find this 30's satin dressing gown in my closet, a treasure I had picked up from our consignment store in Kenai. Crazy how I have these random antique treasures hiding in my closet.

So last night, I drank my cocktail, "smoked" my cigarette (placed accordingly in my ivory cigarette holder), and sat in satin.

Mom looking especially smashing in her Ted Baker! What a pair we make.

Until next year!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Chills & Blues.

I woke with the kind of bone chilling cold that only seeps its way into your body every once in awhile. The kind where no matter how you bundle up in robes, scarves, socks, and cups of tea, it continues to linger uncomfortably under your skin.

And this weather forecast is supposed to continue well into next week.

Oh the joys of Alaskan winters. Aside from the cold, January happens to be the worst month for suicides, and is statistically one of the most depressing months. Enough to make the blues really sink in!

However. I've never been one to let these things bother me, no matter how frustrating it is to wake up to a thermometer of -7 degrees.

Because even though it's frigid outside, and even though it makes even the simple walk from the car to the house seem like the last sprint in an Arctic race, there are a lot of beautiful things to appreciate.

We're gaining sunlight! Currently, we have around five and a half hours of sunlight, but since December 21st (Winter Solstice), we're gaining seconds per day leading up to minutes per day by March 22nd (Vernal Equinox) at which point we continue to increase daylight, but at a slower rate. Interesting fact: although we have lots of sun in the summer and lots of darkness in the winter, the amount of sunlight we receive yearly is the same as anywhere else in the world.

It's still somehow spectacular outside. Walking down my spiral staircase, I was caught off guard by noticing these perfect spider webs, completely ensconced in hoarfrost (ice crystal growth) and creating quite an artwork. Everything outside, frostily frozen...

Also, I now have a valid excuse for staying home curled up in our bear rug in front of the fireplace, reading, or watching my favorite films. No guilt! Even when I chose to wear bearly anything...

Whatever keeps your mind positively occupied during this rough winter month, or whatever keeps you warm, just remember it only affects you if you let it affect you...

What I wore: vintage blue bobble necklace (used), gold sequined cardigan (consignment), blue silk Gypsy jumpsuit (consignment), and gold J Crew flats (consignment).

Sunday, January 8, 2017

The Waiting Game.

I was never one of those people who woke up to the immediate check in of their devices. I've been around it too much, and it's not my preferred method of wakeup.

Instead, I enjoy the movie-style stretch, in which case my feet go off the end of my bed (tall girl struggles), the eye-scrunching "ehhhhhhhahhhh", and the tentative crawling out of my warm bed.

These past few weeks, however, have been a different story.

I've recently been in the process of acquiring a certain interview at my favorite company and have been waking up every morning, anticipation building, to check my email for the hopes of that one interview request.

It's like callbacks all over again from my acting days!

I like to call it: the waiting game.

You see, the waiting game plays on your emotions and it tests your strength and patience. I've been through enough uphills and downhills these last few weeks to know that things like this take time and that I have to remain positive and optimistic.

Lots of distractions also make a difference. It doesn't help, however, when the whole month of January's forecast is placed in the below ten degree margin with clear and bitter cold temperatures, making any attempt at going outside a nasty mistake. Unless you want to freeze your boogers and crust your eyelashes with ice, it's best to stay indoors.

Well, this doesn't help when my mind is inherently focused on the hopes of a job interview! Being stuck indoors has a way of making me focus precisely on what I'm not trying to focus on and it's been a struggle, but I've come up with a few things to keep myself occupied and optimistic.

1.) Scrapbooking. The scrapbook nook is where I like to let my creative juices really flow. It's a terribly old pastime, but I like things old-fashioned and it allows me to creatively preserve moments in time. And jam out to G-Eazy.

2.) Decorating my room & (trying) to go through my closet. I always fancied decorating my room various times a month. It keeps things fresh. Going through my closet doesn't necessarily connote getting rid of things (I find it hard), but more so trying on outfits and imagining myself wearing them, in some exotic and exciting setting other than my house. This also usually leads into a dance session.

3.) Napping. It's probably a terrible mistake because I find myself napping only when I'm bored, but there is something so right when you have your cat curled up to you just so and the temptations of pillows pull you under....

4.) Watching all of my old films. Whether it be Audrey Hepburn's Funny Face, Marilyn Monroe's Some Like It Hot, or the classic Devil Wears Prada, I find that watching these classics inspires me and assures me that style, fashion, romance, and writing are where my passions lie.

5.) Spending time with family. Probably the most important of all is relishing the time I do have here with my family. Whether that means happy hour at the counter, Warriors and Lakers games with my dad, or spin class with my mom, I'm enjoying every moment I have with them and taking this time at home with relish.

Today is a prime example of one such outfit picked out for the occasion of.... staying home. Just as well!

The cold eventually got to me and I had to retreat indoors!

What I wore: vintage red rhinestone necklace (antique store), red fuzzy Esprit top (consignment), floral floor length Eliza J skirt (super sale at Nordstrom Rack), and red Salvatore Ferragamo flats (used).