Thirty-three

Weeeeeee! I am finally my favorite age number!!! 💜🎉 33🎉💜

Check out my 1980’s Barbie themed cake! Those are original figurines I’ve had from 1989. Aren’t they cute?!?! 😍

Funny fact: this year, the weekday my birthday falls on is accurate. My mom was on her way to go Black Friday shopping when she went into labor with me. LOL!

THESE GIFTS from my mom and sister…* squeals high-pitched like a little girl in a Barbie store * I have been wanting to read this book for so long!!! Finally I get to dive into it! The CD is Nena’s 1984 album (which has on it the famous 99 Red Balloons song); I absolutely love this album in its entirety and I’m excited I can finally play it in my car!

It’s been an AMAZING birthday and I am so happy to be 33!!! Now, to go get my free Starbucks drink…☕️

Coffee Date with Myself and Enjoying My Last Week of Being 32

Howdy doooo! 💜

Today I took myself to The Axis Coffee Bar ☕️, a beautiful café in Madera, CA! I’ve been here many times and absolutely love it. It’s right outside of Fresno and is surrounded by foothills and vineyards.

I parked outside the entrance long enough to snap a photo with my mini-tripod placed on the hood of my car, haha. I want to make it a point to use my little tripod more often when I’m out and about! 😄

THIS PLACE HAS THE BEST VIEWS. I love their patio furniture and there is even a water fountain where you can hear the water gently splashing during your stay. And how about the food… 😍

AMAZING! This is the blended mocha and an autumn sprinkled sugar cookie. ❤️

My birthday is approaching on Friday and I’m happy about that!! My plans are to eat some cake, get Indian food takeout, get my free Starbucks drink and open a couple of gifts from my mom and sister. I’ll be turning my favorite age (33), and I have no idea why that is my favorite age but I’ve always looked forward to turning 33. 💜

A few nights ago I went for an evening walk, but I went too late and missed the sun. Booooo. However, the bonus was that I took some great shots of street lights! (I love street lights).

See ya Friday for the birthday blog post!!

Butterfly Migration Onto My Head

Hi folksssssssssss! 💕

I realized this past month I have been wearing mainly neutral tones, WHICH IS GREAT, TOO. But I feel like I really needed a color splash into my outfits. And thus you have THIS LOOK with an array of colors! Yeah!

I also feel like I haven’t been utilizing all the hair clips I own, which is a lot. So I doubled it up with butterflies! I actually am really happy I did this, because I didn’t realize how awesome it would turn out. 😄

I’m not sure how I slipped out of wearing brighter colors, but I’m happy I’m back at it. It just felt GOOD to be wearing brighter colors again! Sometimes I slip into habits and look back and realize, wait, when did I stop wearing bright colors? Then I lasso myself back into it again.

Once again, Mikhail Gorbachev, the host with the most glasnost, graces my blog post! I finished reading Perestroika and then discovered he wrote a new book this year! (Did you know he’s 89 years old!?) This one is really cool because it deals with current international affairs. So I’m learning a lot about the “state of the world”.

I love Gorbachev’s writing style. He provides that informative guidance; he’s like a father figure, but rather than guiding me through life choices, he’s guiding me on why nuclear weapons are bad.

Know the social/political commentary comic, Doonesbury? That was mainly all I read during my childhood years! My earliest memory of Doonesbury was reading commentary on the Gulf War. Kinda dark stuff for a kid. Imagine me reading that in Beauty and the Beast pajamas as I downed a pouch of Capri Sun. The visual is accurate.

But, looping it back to my outfit in this post, regardless of my heavy reading choices, I’m still all about the rainbows and butterflies when it comes right down to it! 💖 And on an ending note, here’s a cool photo I took of my car with lots of pretty colors:

Bye-bye for now!!! 📚

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. 😉 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!) ✨💜

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!!

If Only I Could Be Sew Cool

Hi! 😄

I’ve recently started going back to my old stomping grounds once a week now, enjoying a Saturday chill session on the patio of my favorite Starbucks. It’s pretty empty these days with the pandemic, so I feel safe to do so. Along with my laptop, I brought my mom’s sewing book from 1969, which was such a gem to flip through.

Now, I always have this GRAND IDEA that I will make my own A-line skirts. The way I visualize it in my head looks fantastic. However, when I read/watch actual instructions, I’m left totally confused at everything I was just told.

Then I got online to look for retro fabrics and nearly spit out my iced mocha across my laptop screen seeing how expensive the fabric alone was. What the heck!!!!

This has happened countless times. I get the idea that I’ll try sewing a skirt, I get frustrated, and then that’s where Etsy conveniently walks through the door to save the day. Which leads me to this lovely handmade skirt I purchased recently on Etsy!

I stop to admire my beautiful new skirt and realize, hey…the seller was able to sew it herself! I can too…right? A question which feels like I’m standing near a canyon shouting it, only hearing a rolling echo which fades with no response.

I still won’t write off the idea of trying to make a skirt. Anytime someone asks me if I make my own clothes (which is a lot), I smile and inwardly recoil into a shame spiral, while painfully forming the words, “I don’t, actually.” I’ve only done minor, sew-free modifications. And then I daydream of a kitschy 70’s fabric being sewn together into the perfect A-line skirt, looking fashionably out-of-date and fabulous, like a Brady Bunch set relic, specially made by moi.

The girl on the cover of Simplicity smiles, taunting me while speaking with her eyes, “Sewing is so easy and fun!” Anyone can do it, right?! Right? Right!

I gaze into the horizon, my eyes squinting and staring at nothing in particular. Truth is, it’s a match. Me vs. a sewing machine. Could I manage such a match? Will I get knocked down by the sewing machine, slump into the ropes, wipe the sweat from my brow and then determinedly get back on my feet, already swinging?

Who knows. Maybe eventually I’ll give it a try. Nonetheless, I hope you enjoyed how dramatic I made this post intentionally for laughs! 😃

See ya!!

A Dress with a Tie / I Finally Bought a Local H Album, Too!

Heeey!!! 💖

The tie has RETURNED. I just love the dichotomy between a tie and a dress, two things coming from seemingly separate worlds, brought together into an unexpected co-existence. Yet, it WORKS! 😃 (What can I say, I am fashionably optimistic!)

Add hot pink daisies to the mix, and you have an eye-catching blend of masculine and feminine pieces. 🌸 I love to incorporate patterns, styles and accessories into my outfits that are slightly confusing and even odd. ❤️

Recently, I was very pleased to have finally bought a copy of Local H’s 1996 album, As Good As Dead. Now, this album and I go waaaaay back, long before I listened to it (I’d only heard the hit “Bound for the Floor”, a.k.a “the copacetic song”). How did the album and I go so far back, you ask??

I was nine years old when the album hit the store shelves, and I distinctly remember seeing it when I took trips to The Wherehouse with my sister and brother as a kid. The cover gave me the creeps, yet I was intrigued. Why did the boy have quarters for eyes, I wondered?!? It always made me give it a second or third glance when perusing the aisles as a kid. The album cover always stuck with me.

After listening to it in its entirety, I was really surprised by this album in a good way! I didn’t have any expectations of it since I’d never listened to their music before, aside from one song. I just took it as it was, in a “finally, twenty-four years later, let’s see what this album’s all about” kind of way.

I loved the gritty grunge sound, and also that the album kept me on my toes. The songs vary from mellow to hard-rocking, so I never felt like I could get comfortable, which is a good thing in my opinion (it challenged me as a listener). It captured the true feel of 90’s grunge: some songs were bitterly anger-driven and loud, while others were more quietly introspective and withdrawn.

My favorites were: “Bound For the Floor”, “Eddie Vedder”, “O.K.”, and “Manifest Destiny Pt. 2” ✨💜 Special shoutout to the killer guitar riff in “I Saw What You Did and I Know Who You Are”. Overall, I really love this album! Definitely a 90’s gem I’m happy to own. I’m so thankful that I can revisit these albums from my childhood and experience them as an adult.

How about you? Do you have an album you’ve been playing lately? I’ve been listening to this and also, some Smashing Pumpkins. 💖

See ya next time!! 💕

Barbie Love

I know I know, Hello Kitty (Halloween edition) is on my shoulder, but I’m actually going to bring up Barbie later in this post! 💕 So stay TUNED!

I just couldn’t pass up the photo op, since the stuffed toy and I match.

It’s only July, but once I came upon this stuffed toy, it gave me a little itch for Halloween and thinking of what I’ll wear this year for the holiday! Halloween Hello Kitty has been in my life since many years ago when I used to work at a law firm, and during Halloween month, I’d place her next to the candy bowl I used to put on my receptionist’s desk.

I’m loving my new, ruffly scarf (well, it’s new to me, but it actually belonged to my mom and she gave me a lot of stuff she used to wear. Bring mE ALL THE OLD STUFF PLEEEEEASE). I figure, it’s never too soon to bring out the scarves, no? So long as it’s a thin scarf, since it’s summer and all. It certainly jazzed up my outfit in a visually intriguing way!

Now, onto Barbie!!! 💖

Not sure who remembers, but Barbie had her own comic book back in the day. They ran from (I believe) 1990 – 1996, give or take. I have around 8 comic books from when I was a kid, and now I added a few more to my collection, thanks to eBay! Being in my thirties, I’ve noticed I’ve become more appreciative of the things I enjoyed during my childhood years. In fact, it’s my own little secret to happiness: what did I love doing as a kid? What did I love to wear? No reason I can’t still enjoy it! Reading Barbie comics was one of those things I loved to do.

These are from 1990 and 1991. I can’t get over how cute these comic books are! The colors, the innocent dialogue, the FASHION, and even better, the BIG HAIR. Aaaahhh! 😍 Barbie will forever be one of my favorite fashion icons. 💕

Cheers to childhood treasures! See ya next time!! 💜 ✨

The Best Things

I’ll just start off by saying this is one of my FAVORITE OUTFITS I’ve EVER put together (accessories included)!!! ❤️

Why? Because it’s SO RANDOM. Let’s take a closer look:

I have a My Little Pony necklace on and I’m sporting my new, custom-made Gene Simmons purse. I’m living it, breathing it, and loving it right now.

My Little Pony and Gene Simmons. ❤️ It’s such a random pairing, and I love bringing together things from opposite ends of the spectrum that seem to not make sense as a pair, tying it all together with a bow like a happy little outfit family. And it goes to show, that opposites can indeed work well together.

After taking these photos, a little while later I went to get my drive-thru Starbucks iced mocha and go for a walk. On these solo walks I’ve had plenty of time to think about life, and my mind wandered back to what my ultimate “favorite outfit ever AND best day ever” has been and the good memories attached to it.

It’d be this little red number (I call it the Kiss the Go-Goat Dress ), which I wore on September 13th, 2019 (Friday the 13th in fact, forever immortalized into a “Best Day Ever” for me:

The day I saw Ghost play live in concert in Bakersfield. ❤️ Seeing that I won’t be attending any concerts this year (due to COVID-19), I’ve been daydreaming about this last concert I went to.

I’ll always smile back on that concert and it still gives me the warm, fuzzy feelings. It was the first concert I ever went to by myself, so it was truly special and felt magical, along with the red dress I modified myself to get those groovy bell sleeves. I wrote this in my journal at the time:

✨ “There’s something magical about the moment the curtains part, you see your favorite band onstage and the lights and music take over your senses, surrounded by a sea of people who feel the same exhilaration you’re feeling. I sat there in my red dress, my eyes locked on the stage, completely enamored. I’ve seen them perform three times now, but there was something extra magical about that concert. Maybe because I was 100 miles away from home by myself seeing them play live, or that they were performing their two new songs for the first time live, or that it was the first concert kicking off the start of their tour. I think it was all of it combined that made it so magical.” ✨

These are the things I thought of as I took my walk, sipping my iced mocha with My Little Pony around my neck and Gene Simmons hanging off my shoulder. I looked around at the empty, silent street in both directions. The beginning of a new summer shimmered in the early evening air. I nonchalantly kicked a pebble on the sidewalk with a dopey grin on my face, remembering that epic September evening, Friday the 13th, 2019.

Perhaps it’s the sudden spike of COVID-19 cases skyrocketing in Fresno, or realizing it’s almost half way through the year already that’s making me reflect on happier things, like my best day ever, and the joys of a favorite outfit.

My Little Pony and Gene make any day better, too. ❤️

‘Til next time!!

The Wanderers

Ahoy!! ❤️

I brought my new-and-improved tripod with me to the park. Boooooooooooooooooom

It was such a lovely day! I decided, let me pack up my purse with my new mini-tripod, get something to drink to bring along, and gooooooo…

I’ve been wanting new backdrops for my outfit photos, so I was hopeful I’d find somewhere at the park to set the tripod on and snap away. It was a little tricky at first; any time I thought I found the right cement table for it, there would be a couple nearby romantically gazing at each other and deep in their own private conversation, in which I didn’t want to disturb the lovey-dovey ambiance with my posing in front of a timed-camera nearby. So on I went, in search of the right spot.

And I found it!

Off ahead, I spotted a patch of trees, like a little tree island. All the tables nearby were empty, so I could easily set up my little tripod and get some outfit photos.

I wore my Ghost, Opus Eponymous album shirt with a bright, fun skirt. Definitely comfortable for wandering on a long walk!

Not a bad photo after getting chased by a bee (I think it thought my hair clips were real).

I love, love, love this skirt so much; I’d provide a link to where you could buy it, but it’s currently unavailable on Amazon now. Boo!

After my time at the park, I took yet another short drive out of the city and into the flat lands. Winds were coming in strong by that time and it turned the landscape dusty, which made for some great snapshots. I pulled off to the side of the road and got out!

This was definitely the best trip out here because two really interesting things happened: 1) I mentioned in my last post that I saw a raven perched on a fence, and I saw yet again a raven perched on a fence in the same area as I did last time!!! Maybe it hangs out there a lot? It seemed to be enjoying the sunset.

Annnnnnd… 2) I saw a COYOTE, literally two seconds after seeing the raven! It was wandering alongside a vineyard as I drove past it. It was really cute; I live in the city, so seeing a coyote is pretty dang exciting for me.

I started thinking: what do us three have in common? The raven, the coyote, and little ol’ me?

Technically, we were all doing the same thing in a way. I’d previously been wandering around a big park. The coyote was wandering around a vineyard. The raven was admiring the sunset – something I was doing when I pulled off to take pictures.

So what did I learn from this?

Yeah, you thought I was going to drop something all heavy and philosophical didn’t you. Truth is, I can’t really come up with a profound meaning behind it, but somehow I FELT like there was some kind of profound meaning behind it. I can only describe it as, a strong sense of connectedness… 💜

Here’s to raven and coyote sightings – preferably coyote sightings from a distance, as I don’t want to become a coyote’s new chew toy.

See ya next time!!!

Dance Off Under the Rain Clouds

Hey, all!! 🌸

I’m sure by now it’s obvious how much I love flowers. So when my friend Sarah (who has been my walking-buddy during this quarantine, keeping a good distance as we stroll of course!) and I came upon this house with lush rose bushes in front, I had to stop to admire and get a photo with them.

Hanging out with the flowers.💕

The warm temps have been much welcomed for me, although on this day we walked, it cooled a little because there were rain clouds lingering. Everything felt damp and refreshing!

It started out as a normal walk (I led the way, as we always walk single-file at least six feet apart from each other), with the sun peeking through the rain clouds intermittently. We strolled through the affluent residential neighborhood, then down the long stretch of sidewalk lined with sweet-scented bushes and buzzin’ bees.

Then Sarah put on some oldies on her phone. It was at the climatic ending of Let’s Live for Today by The Grass Roots when I suddenly took off skipping full-speed down the sidewalk, like a crazed woman who suddenly let her inner child out.

Sha-la-la-la-la-la live for todaaay…and don’t worry ’bout tomorrow… as the song goes.

We kept on, Sarah being the DJ and taking requests. If you’re going to San Francisco, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair…my song request by Scott McKenzie fluttered through the air like a butterfly. NO MATTER WHAT YOU ARE…I WILL ALWAYS BE WITH YOOOOOOU, we sang along to Badfinger.

Our walk ended with us dancing around in the empty park until it got too chilly and the rain clouds took over.

Skipping and dancing – definitely not something I thought I’d find myself doing, and yet it was one of the most fun times I’ve had, and something I’ll always remember!

And what else did I learn??? That when it comes right down to it, my friend and I are two women in our thirties who just want to go outside and play, basically.

Rain clouds over the dance floor

See ya next time!! 💕