“Think I Could Pull This Off With Shorts?”

So!!!! I did something different; I bought myself suspender SHORTS. Now this doesn’t seem like a big deal, right? Alas, for me it was! I don’t think I’ve worn shorts since high school. I always wear skirts and dresses!

While scrutinizing the SHEIN item that my eyes beheld on my laptop screen, I tried to envision myself in them. Could I pull it off????? Maybe. Then I realized, what did I have to lose? BUY ‘EM!

And so I did. I’m actually really happy with them! At first, I felt a little self-conscious but that feeling quickly faded. It’s just because I hadn’t worn shorts out in public in soooooo long…but I dig the whole vintage vibe with these cool buttons!

Funny story about these shoes: I was walking in them the other day and the bottom of the shoe literally flapped open, like a gaping fish mouth. Fortunately, a friend of mine recommended Shoe Goo glue, and boy did it work!!! All fixed and like new! These are my favorite flats. πŸ’–

Second outfit we have here is my beloved teddy bear outfit, which is my favorite as of recently!!! πŸ»πŸ’•

This top is also from SHEIN! Ain’t it cute?!!? Once I realized it would perfectly match my teddy bear hair clips I own, I knew I wanted to get it!!!

I think it’s fun to try different fashion stuff even if maybe you don’t think you can pull it off. For me personally, I’ve always been a social outcast, so I feel I have the luxury of wearing whatever I feel like, no matter how “out there” it gets.

Believe it or not, I actually used to look completely “normal” (whatever that word even means??? But it’s the only word I can think of) during my junior and senior year of high school. I tried to emulate how the popular girls at school would style themselves, although I never did fit the bill anyway. And guess what? I still never fit in, nor did any boys like me, and people still thought I was a nerd!

And that is why, I literally laugh out loud when I’ve been told, “Maybe if you just tried to not have an extreme style, you’d be seen as more attractive,” or, “Maybe you’d have more friends if you toned your look down a notch.”

Nope! I’ve tested both waters, and I concluded long ago that whether I completely blended into a crowd of people or if I decided to wear a huge orange traffic cone on my head, it would be the same results. I’ve always been one of those people who just never fit in, no matter how I tried to present myself. So I decided I’d just wear whatever I loved to wear, no matter how outdated or out-there it was, because ultimately it has made me the happiest and feel most like myself. And what’s more important than that?

So wear that one clothing item you’re not totally sure you can pull off, and wear it with confidence. 😘

See ya next time!!!

Bow Thugs-N-Harmony; A Double Dip of Fourth of July Ensembles

Folks!!!!! I took it upon myself to get into the Fourth of July groove, so I have a double-dip of outfits that are red, white and blue! πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έβ€οΈπŸ’™ Let’s get started.

First off, I have officially fallen head-over-heels in love with the fashion site SHEIN. After seeing so many ads for them on the internet, I finally caved and bought three new tops! In this post are two out of the three, and you can find the red floral top here and the checkered blue top here. I look forward to buying more clothing from them in the future!!!

First outfit ❀️ : The big red lace bow was made by me. I like it!! It kind of reminds me of a more subtle version of the hair bows Lolitas wear.

After a 3 mile recreational nature walk in the heat of late Friday afternoon, I thought it’d be nice to get myself a CHERRY BURST SLUSH from Sonic (new drink on the menu). It has little balls in it and they burst in your mouth, revealing a strong cherry flavor. ‘TWAS GOOD!

Here’s the second outfit I’m wearing today (heart pin is from The Tote Trove! Isn’t it darling and super patriotic??) And the floral bow is a 90’s bow I used to wear in elementary school, haha!! πŸ’™:

I purchased a new CD that I was very much looking forward to listening to whilst driving places! As someone who has really never explored the hip-hop genre all that much, I was pleasantly surprised at how easily I got into the album while playing it in my Challenger. I’m glad I expanded my musical horizons and gave something new-to-me a try (the album came out in 1996)!

The freedom to drive around while listening to a new CD, sipping down a Cherry Burst Slush and going for a long nature walk with a gigantic bow on my head? Now that is a freedom that deserves a ring. πŸ””β€οΈπŸ’™

Have a fun Fourth of July weekend, whatever you do! πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έβ­οΈ

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!

Finding Your Happy Place; Letting the Creative Juices Flow

Above are the creations I made this past week!! I’m over-the-moon happy with how they turned out. I’ve been on a roll lately cranking out new jewelry designs. I realized how much I truly enjoy making jewelry, and it’s definitely one of my many happy places!

See that necklace with the pumpkin and Starbucks cup on it? Yep, it’s a pumpkin spice-themed cameo necklace! I made the cameo last fall and didn’t do anything with it, so I made it into a necklace. I’m sure someone who loves anything having to do with pumpkins and coffee will love it when autumn rolls around! (Thankfully though, it’s nowhere near fall yet…I’m not ready for that, as I love summer!! β˜€οΈ )

It’s nice to create stuff and feel really good about it. There’s a sense of satisfaction when you wear something you made yourself! Even more so when you know someone else is wearing your creations (two weeks ago, I had someone buy several items from my Etsy shop, which was a total happy surprise!)

On a last note, here’s me rocking one of my new necklaces in sunny yellow plaid!!! πŸ’–

See ya next time!! πŸ’–

Suspenders, Summer and Bling

I’ve been obsessed with suspenders lately! I purchased this suspender dress from Amazon and I’m totally in love with it. It’s super comfortable, to boot! I love the fabric. 😌

I made a new line of rings recently for my Etsy shop and I totally love how they turned out. Always wanted to make big rhinestone rings!!! πŸ’•

Summer is officially here where I live, so I’m very happy to be enjoying the heat, just me and my iced mochas on my walks. I like to observe the plants I pass by, and the bugs, and feel like we’re all connected somehow. Friends in nature, ya know. πŸ’—

Cheers!!! β˜€οΈπŸ’—

Feeling Crafty: Late 80’s/Early 90’s Barbie for the Win

I was cleaning through a junk drawer last week and found a pair of plastic Barbie earrings from my childhood…and I JUST KNEW I had to turn them into something new!!! They were far too adorable not to wear somehow, and since I don’t wear earrings, I decided to turn them into a necklace and ring set for myself. πŸ’•

I’m not certain what year this Barbie is from, but I’d have to guess late 80’s/early 90’s!

Aren’t they cuuuuuuuuuuuuute!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m in love! πŸ’•

The second crafty thing I did recently was turn a regular skater skirt into a suspender skirt. I sewed on elastic bands and that was all it took! I wore this same suspender skirt in my last blog post but hey, I find myself wearing it a lot now. πŸ˜‹

And of course, cat ears. They just make everything better! πŸ’– And Barbie? Now that’s the ultimate! πŸ˜‰

See ya next time! πŸ’˜

Panda Expresso: The Almighty Newspaper Lives On

Ahhh…an espresso-rich iced mocha, warm weather, and diving into old articles from The New York Times. πŸ˜Œβ˜•οΈπŸ’• (Oh, and re-reading my favorite book about the Berlin Wall for the 4th time now!)

Recently, I came across an awesome offer from The New York Times: for just $4/month for a year, I could have digital access to their newspaper vault, all in its original context! (For a history nerd, this was like finding the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow). My little fingers couldn’t subscribe fast enough!

Some say that newspapers are a thing of the past. Not so! I have newspapers to thank for this new hobby of mine, which is, searching the NYT archives for articles about the Berlin Wall when it was still standing! It’s feeding my Cold War obsession and I’m actually learning a lot.

I’m finding tons of articles and little snippets about the courageous people who escaped or attempted to escape over the Wall. My favorite snippet is about the border guard who literally just walked off from his duty post and crossed the line into West Berlin without any of his fellow guards noticing…

And my other favorite article, of course, is about the night the Berlin Wall came down, pictured above! I took a screenshot of how the newspaper looks in the archive. So cool!

I was just a few weeks shy of being 2 years old when the Berlin Wall fell, so I was too busy drooling all over myself and probably drooling all over the carpet to take note of international happenings. But now? I have the whole world at my fingertips, that can take me straight to the past in one click. And for that, I’m soooo thankful for today’s technology! 😌

Secondly, I now have panda hair clips!!! πŸΌπŸ’• They were custom-made for me by a really sweet seller on Etsy, and I couldn’t be happier with them! IS IT CHEESY THAT I WENT TO GET MYSELF PANDA EXPRESS WEARING THESE? πŸ˜†

See ya next time!! πŸ’•

Hair Bears: The Search for Life’s Little Magical Moments

It’s become a new thing where I find myself wearing something animal-related in my hair! Whether it be cat ears or now, teddy bear heads. I purchased these on Etsy and I absolutely love them! They’re made of felt and super squishy. πŸ»πŸ’•

I don’t know about y’all, but I’m always on the lookout for fashion inspiration, because it can pop up anywhere!! I was thinking about this topic lately. I remember back when I was in high school in the early 2000’s, there was a girl at school who would use an umbrella with a panda face on it, and it had ears on top. If I recall, it looked something like this:

She used it as a parasol with her goth-like outfits, and I’d see her walking around campus during lunch hour. It was the most magical thing everrrrr, and I’ve never forgotten it. She was like a ray of sunshine on an otherwise beige-and-cement-colored campus. Even all these years later in my thirties, it inspired me to embrace cute animals for accessorizing! (Perhaps I shall try to track down some panda head hair clips…hmmmm!) πŸ˜‰

Don’t you just love those little moments where someone inspires you, fashionably? I sure do. Sixteen years later, I still remember her and how she totally owned holding that panda parasol. It’s like a little flash of a moment in time where someone’s ensemble makes the world a little more magical, and in turn, you want to make the world a little more magical, too. πŸ’–βœ¨

Anyway, the black suspender dress I’m wearing in this first outfit is an old school uniform apron from the Soviet Union days. πŸ˜‹ The second dress is from Gowntown on Amazon! (I hemmed it up to a shorter length, so it’s been altered).

Because really, doesn’t life need a little more magic? A little more quirk? I’d definitely say yes. And it starts from something as simple as an umbrella, or an outfit, or something you put on your head. From there, we can make the world a little sunnier. β˜€οΈ

See ya next time!! πŸ’œ

Denim and Daisies: An Ode to Tutar, an Unexpected Fashion/Feminist Inspiration

I watched Borat 2 earlier this year and it made me laugh so hard!!! I genuinely enjoyed it, and what I did not expect was to find fashion and feminist inspiration in this film! But it happened.

Tutar (played by Bulgarian actress Maria Bakalova) was brilliant and I totally fell in love with her character: she’s quirky, funny, and spent most of the film unlearning everything she’d been taught as a child about womanhood. Upon coming to America, she finds that women can indeed drive cars, have their own careers if they want, and can decide whom they want to marry and, heck, they can even not get married if they choose! By the end of the film, she has a whole new outlook on life and is happy to know she has choices.

Throughout most of the film, she’s sporting cute denim overalls. She inspired me to purchase this denim overalls dress some months back, and I just spotted Maria Bakalova in an interview on The View! There’s a Borat Supplemental Reportings film that will be released soon I found out, filled with unseen footage, so I’m very excited to watch it! 😎🍿

So I thought, hey, why not make a blog post about the correlation between Tutar, my denim overalls dress, and finding inspiration in a film? I learned that denim overalls are pretty darn cool and I enjoy wearing the style. It also made me appreciate being able to choose. I love that nowadays (generally speaking, I know this is certainly not the case everywhere), a gal can choose to marry someone if she wants to, have a career, or be a housewife. On the flip side, she can choose to never marry (or date) at all, have a career, and spend her nights stuffing her face with salad while watching I Love Lucy (yeah, I’m talking about myself now). The great thing? ALL of those options are totally COOL! It’s the choice.

So, cheers to choices. And cheers to my cat ears. Rather than watching I Love Lucy while stuffing my face with salad tonight, I’ll be watching Borat 2!!!

Very nice!!! 😎 See ya next time!

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!!! 🐱