Twinsies: Two Samanthas, Double the Childlike Adventures

This lovely book was gifted to me a couple of Christmases ago from my mom, who knew how much I enjoyed reading about Samantha from the American Girl series when I was younger. Even now, I still greatly enjoy looking through the short stories that compile this big ol’ book because it inspires me to embrace my curious inner child as an adult (I also love the movie adaptation)!

The character and I not only share the same name, but we also share the same love for fashion of the early 1900’s (this book is set in 1904). Samantha’s adventures, her curious spirit, down to the outfits she wears, is very fun for me to look through!

As an homage, I wore this outfit that reminds me a bit of that time period (the blouse style and the ribbon in my hair, specifically! If you notice, big sleeves cuffed at the wrists with high neck lines and hair bows were all the rage during that time for young girls):

Blouse: SHEIN // Suspender dress: Amazon // Bow: made by me // Choker: ROMWE
Cameo ring: Brooch from my childhood turned into a ring!

Even though I’m an “adult” (LOL, I still can’t use that word without quotes) and not a young girl anymore, I always feel like I intertwine between an “adult” with responsibilities like paying my bills and still being a very curious child who still stops to look at worms on the sidewalk. Being in my thirties, I actually feel quite honored to be the local weirdo with huge hair, who wears what is deemed as “childlike” styles by most, usually receiving many an odd side-glance from others. Because to me, fashion has no age limit, nor is there an age limit to embracing your inner child, and I personally don’t believe you have to dress “age appropriate” if you don’t want to (whatever “age appropriate” means, right?). With fashion, the sky’s the limit. Which is why I love it so much!!!

So here’s to embracing your inner child and finding your own adventures in the everyday life. And here’s to people who are adults but don’t really feel like one, LOL!!! Because the magic of childhood never has to stop. ✌🏼 For example, when I was a kid, I would often take Polaroid photos of street lights. I am still fascinated by them and feel a sense of comfort whenever I see them, and I still take photos of them for my own enjoyment!

See ya next time!!! πŸ’–

A Good Book and Good Laughs; How My Belarusian Pen Pal Got Me Hooked on Soviet Comedies

This week, I started reading a new book I’ve been anticipating called Checkpoint Charlie by Iain MacGregor! I’ve wanted to learn more about this famous border crossing of the Cold War era, which was a tense divider between East and West Berlin back in the day. You may or may not be familiar with the famous sign that stood at the checkpoint (and still does, as a tourist attraction in Berlin), and I always thought it was both fascinating and foreboding at the same time:

The stern sign gave you fair warning in English, and it also warned you in Russian, French and German that you were leaving the American sector of West Berlin and about to enter East Berlin territory. It was a crossing point from (I think) 1947-1991.

I’m still in the beginning of the book but I can EASILY SAY I am HOOOOOOOOOKED and it’s a real page turner!!!!

Alongside my exploration of new literature, I’ve also dipped my toe into the world of film from the Soviet era of the 1960’s. I have my Belarusian pen pal to thank for this, as I would have NEVER known what I was missing out on – Soviet comedies!

(My pen pal is in his late forties, lives in Belarus and experienced living in the Soviet Union himself, so I’ve learned a lot from him. I can even understand some Russian phrases now, like basic greetings!) πŸ˜ƒ

I’ve watched a few comedies so far, including Operation Y and Shurik’s Other Adventures (1965), and my favorite is Bootleggers (1961) featured above. It’s a short film at only 18 minutes long, but it’s 18 minutes of pure joy and laughs for me!

It stars (from left to right) Yevgeny Morgunov, Yuri Nikulin and Georgy Vitsin. The three characters star in several movies together and play troublemakers, in which their schemes don’t exactly turn out the way they think it will and they go through hilarious situations that end with them in the back of a police car. Bwahaha!!!

Side note: I fell in love with Georgy Vitsin like, 3 seconds into the film. How could I not fall for a face like this?

I found myself thinking: all three of these actors have been deceased since the late 90’s/early 2000’s. How cool is it that I discovered their films all the way here in the United States, in 2021 no less, long after they’ve been gone, and I get to experience it with fresh eyes?! Their legacy definitely lives on!

So as you can tell, I’ve been enjoying myself immensely in the world of literature and film – the perfect way to kick off the summer. β˜€οΈβ€οΈ I’ll end this post with two photos of me trying to awkwardly take photos of my outfit in my room. I was feeling the orange and purple ensemble, and the pockets? Sewed those bad boys on myself!!!

See yaaaaaaaaaaa!

Band-Aid of Brothers: Brights vs. Pastels, the Battle

I’ve mentioned it before on my blog, but to any new readers, Band of Brothers by Stephen E. Ambrose is one of my favorite books ever!! I first read it in high school as a freshman. Growing up without any kind of father figure/male role model around, this book was gold in my eyes; here were these men who were courageous enough to voluntarily parachute out of airplanes and straight into combat zones in World War II. I was HOOKED. 

I carried the book in my backpack as a freshman in high school. My name’s written in it, as I wanted to ensure that in case I ever misplaced it at school, it’d find its way back to me in the lost-and-found. By now, the pages are yellowed and there’s a section where the spine of the book is a little cracked. But I’ll never replace it for a newer copy! It has too much sentimental value. 

No lie, I still use these guys as inspiration for my own personal endurance. Such as, breaking into my new platform Mary Jane’s. I know I know…that’s no comparison to stuff that happened in WWII!!! But hear me out first. I went for a long walk in my new shoes recently, and dang, I really blistered up my feet. The trek back to my car was tough, but I kept telling myself, Men parachuted out of airplanes while bullets were firing at them from the ground!!! Men stormed the beaches of Normandy, while met by a hail of gunfire! You can handle the pain! You can slap a band-aid on all your blisters when you get home! Go go go!

So yeah, true story folks…that’s how I trek through the little uncomfortable things…and HEY! I did a photoshoot for my book because it’s pretty. πŸ’•

And now for the battle. Okay, it’s not really a battle at all, so I’m sorry for the huge letdown, but I wanted there to be a nice flow to my blog title. One day this week I wore a bright outfit, and another day, soft pastels! I really can’t choose between the two because I love both brights and pastels. They’re both cool in their own ways, ya know? 😎

Flower brooch by the one…the only…THE TOTE TROVE!

I wore these cat hair clips that I made myself with the pastel outfit (they are kind of hard to see in the photos). πŸ’– Both heart rings in this post are made by me and available in my Etsy shop!

Also, any of y’all remember BEAR IN THE BIG BLUE HOUSE? That’s where my bear is from; I totally loved that show as a kid. Yep, I still sleep with the bear on my bed!

See ya next time!!! 🐱

One for the Books; Wearing a Cool Apron

✨ Happy start of the new year! ✨

I love, love, love my new apron (a vintage find!), and it’s actually not a kitchen apron. It’s an accessory to an old USSR school uniform, in which a black apron was commonly worn over the standard brown dress. And now I styled it in my own fun way, with a floral pin from The Tote Trove! πŸ˜„

I reeeeally do love hunting for vintage items and giving them a new life!

I carefully planned out what I want to read for the year, and it caused me to go to Barnes & Noble for the first time since before the pandemic. I was soooooooooooo freaking excited to go!!!! I even took a picture of the store I was so happy, LOL. For me, knowledge is a girl’s best friend, so I love bookstores. πŸ˜ŽπŸ’•

My first read of the year – I know, I know, I’m pretty much obsessed with this man. 😍 I just really admire him.

I’m happy with my book line-up for this year!!! I want to learn about the early beginnings and formation of the United States, hence the three books on the right. πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έβ€οΈ And of course, I needed a WWII book. πŸ˜‹ Y’all just knew one would be a war book!

See ya next time!! πŸ“šβ˜•οΈ

Cake Pop Magic, a Prairie Blouse and a Glimpse of Graphic Design from the DPRK

Have you seen the new Starbucks commercial where the lady touches a hologram-like screen in the air and takes out a pink cake pop from it to go along with her drink, and then smiles before carrying on with her day??? I feel that commercial in my soul. I got this cake pop for free with my Starbucks Rewards, to go with my iced mocha. πŸ˜‰ I actually had forgotten how yummy these are, and when I took that first bite, I thought: I FEEL LIKE THAT LADY. (Starbucks, your marketing is working like magic!) βœ¨πŸ’œ

Recently, I modified another blouse I own, and with the added lace it has a prairie look to it now. I’m really happy with the final outcome! I love the mix of really feminine pieces (the blouse) with a darker accessory (the choker).

On Sunday evening, I found myself flipping through a photo book called Made in North Korea: Graphics From Everyday Life in the DPRK by Nicholas Bonner. This is definitely one of the most interesting books I own, I can honestly say! It’s not every day one gets to see what graphic design/product design is like in this mysterious country, or get a look at North Korean propaganda.

Me being in the graphic design field, I was highly fascinated by this book, and there’s also the side of me that is fascinated by countries shrouded in mystery. Another example are the countries that were previously part of the Eastern bloc (my next blog post will be dedicated to this very topic, as I’m patiently waiting for a vintage garment to arrive in the mail that…*hint*…has to do with the Eastern bloc!)

The massive history nerd that I am, I found myself wondering as I flipped through the pages, whether there will ever be a chance that North and South Korea will someday reunite, like when East and West Germany reunited in 1990?

Here’s a look at just a few photos featured in the book – some are postcards, posters, product labels and stationary. I thought it’d make for a great blog post, since this is not something most of us will ever get to see…

See ya next time!!