February 19, 2010

No. Seriously. Dresses/skirts with pockets are AWESOME.

I know I mentioned this before, but I needed to share again. 

On Feb 13th, I spent the evening celebrating one of my friend's 30th b-day (Happy Birthday again, Sarah!). We played games, ate food, drank some sangria, and just hung out.

It was a mixed crowd, but more girls than boys, so of course the topic turned to fashion.

Now, I've never considered myself to be someone who cared much for the latest styles or trends, but I can't tell you enough how I feel about dresses and skirts with pockets. I mean seriously these are the greatest things since sliced bread. So when someone (I don't think I was the one that brought it up, but it's possible) started talking about pockets I may have gotten a bit over-enthusiastic about them.
 Even Cameron Diaz rocks them!

(I'm not alone. A quick search led me to an entire Flickr pool of dresses and skirts with pockets)

One of the guys in the group piped up: "what is the point of pockets? What would you keep in there? Isn't that what a purse is for?" so of course I had to defend the awesomeness of pockets.

Here is the short version of my list of why pockets are awesome:

1. Men always have pockets. I have yet to see a pair of pants or shorts for men that lack pockets. As any man knows, you never have to worry about flailing your arms around. When in doubt, your hands go in your pockets. I dislike having to figure out what to do with my hands sometimes.

2. I don't LIKE carrying a purse all the time. I'm one of those people that tends to fill whatever space I have with stuff. I would MUCH rather be able to slip an ID, a credit card, some cash, and my keys in to a pocket.

3. It's a natural comfortable thing to just stick your hands in your pocket.What girl doesn't love the fact that her jean skirt (you know we all have one) has pockets?

4. It's kind of trendy, but not a weird crazy trend (you won't see Lady Gaga rocking body suits with pockets). Just something young and hip and fun. Something that everyone can get in on.

Formal Dress? Casual Pockets? YES Please!

February 18, 2010

Give me a Z!

First off, I am so sorry that I have been lacking in the updating part of this blog. Let's blame my busy schedule, along with the current cold that has ravaged my body. I feel like death. No lie. In fact, every minute something new starts hurting. Just now, the left side of my throat started hurting unbelievably. Why? Who knows.

But I'm not here to geek out about my sickness. I'm here to talk about my all-time favorite junk food.

The Zebra Cake.
What? Did angels just sing?

For those of you who live under a rock, zebra cakes are the greatest Little Debbie snack ever made. A zebra cake is made up of two moist hexagon shaped white cakes, with a sweet and smooth white frosting layered between, covered in a melt in your mouth vanilla frosting and striped lightly with milk chocolate.

These cakes are my favorite thing to hoard. When I treat myself to a box, which isn't often, I hide them around my room, so that no one knows I have the coveted snack. I close my door and bundle myself up in bed, nibbling the cake while I read or watch something on my computer. I take small bites, so that I may enjoy the pure and perfect sweetness slowly and for a longer period of time.

People love them so much, they make them ART.

The other day, I discovered that the corner store between Joshua's and my apartment sells zebra cakes by the cake. For fifty cents you can get one, slightly larger than normal, perfect zebra cake. I bought one and tucked it into my pocket. As soon as I left the store, I ripped open that plastic wrapping and took a bite of the piece of heaven in my hand. It had been a while since my last cake.

As I walked to Joshua's, I savored the creamy frosting, the perfectly baked cakes and the almost flaky icing. Each bite washed through my mouth in a whirlwind of pleasure, and I even found myself moaning out loud. I finished the cake before I made it to Joshua's, for fear of his jealousy. (I later learned he does not like them. HA!)

So, since I have been feeling ultra lousy the last couple of days, I think I may treat myself to a zebra cake today. You should too.

And God said, on the 8th day, let there be Zebra Cakes!

February 13, 2010

Woohoo!!! Valentine's Day!!!

Forgive me, but this entry is just a slightly edited version of an editorial I wrote in college for the school paper.

Maybe I'm a big weirdo, but I really like Valentine's Day. Scratch that, I LOVE Valentine's Day. It's definitely my favorite holiday.

I haven't always liked Valentines Day either. Until I started dating my boyfriend, I had spent every Valentine's Day alone. Every February 14th, I would "celebrate" another holiday - Singles Awareness Day (S. A. D.) - by wearing all black or wearing grubby clothes, and then watching horror movies where the couple dies. I'd sit in my room, either with friends or alone, and eat ice cream. I would have my own personal pity party, bemoaning the fact that I was single and cursing at all the couples of the world.

Since college though, I've developed this strange love for V-Day. Seriously! Look at it this way . . .If you're in a relationship, or have a date, you get to spend this day with someone you really care about. It's a day full of potential romance. Public Displays of Affection can occur with out people making gagging noises or telling you to "get a room."

As great as it is to be in a relationship for this holiday, being single on Valentines is a lot of tun too. Who doesn't enjoy the candy? Think about all the chocolate or the little conversation hearts - "fax me," "email me," "page me." Then there is my personal favorite candy that emerges this time of year - SweetTart Hearts.

If you feel like being bitter that you're single on the 14th, go ahead! BE bitter! This is the one day a year where people who aren't bitter can't give you a hard time, or tell you to "get over it."

Here's the recipe for a great Valentines Day: if you want to get valentines, send them to your friends. Go to CVS or Target, and buy Harry Potter or Barbie, and give it to your friends, believe me, they'll appreciate it.
Take V-Day and literally a "pity party" into a real party. Spend time with your boys. Spend time with the girls. Revel in the name of all that is red and pink!

If you feel that Valentines Day isn't complete without flowers, there is a simple solution. GO BUY YOURSELF SOME. There is no rule that says that you can't treat yourself to some roses and be your own valentine.

People always say that Valentines Day is just a waste of time and that it's a holiday created by Hallmark or the flower industry.

I don't know.

All I do know is that on February 14th, if you see me, come wish me a Happy Valentines Day - maybe I'll give you a valentine!

February 4, 2010

SNOWPOCALYPSE 2: Electric Boogaloo

This post was originally going to be about the greatest TV show you're not watching, but I decided to change my topic due to the impending snowstorm set to befall the Washington, DC metro area starting as early as late tomorrow morning.

Growing up in Maryland, I always enjoyed the fact that we never got much extreme weather. When we did it was always a freak tornado, a freak blizzard, a freak earthquake. Nothing to write home about. In fact, the big joke was always that when there was little more than an two inches of snow on the road, school was canceled.

Then I went to school in Connecticut where it snowed a lot, including a storm that would dump at least a foot or two, usually in March. It was awesome. I remember Freshman year trudging across campus in a foot of snow to get to that little booth by the entrance for my work-study gig as an University Ambassador. School wasn't canceled unless professors couldn't make it to campus. It was at UHa where I learned, truly, the sheer joy of being snowed in, especially with friends, and especially with some alcohol.

In fact, I missed the snow living in Alabama. I didn't like wearing short sleeves on New Year's Eve.

I love the snow. But what I love, way more than I could ever love snow itself, is the sheer madness that occurs just before the snow is about to hit.

Like I mentioned, we never get a ton of snow here in MD, usually the snowfall for the entire winter is less than a foot. Then we had last year. It snowed twice in December, including a massive snow dump on Dec. 19th that dropped about two feet in my town.

That storm, was dubbed by many in the DC area as the Snowpocalypse. There was even a Facebook group with that same name. I took pictures, starting the night before of the empty bread aisles and then, starting with the first flakes, I took photos every hour documenting this historic snowfall. It took me three days to get my car completely dug out (I didn't have a shovel for one of those days, and realized that it was easiest to get my boyfriend's car out first). There was even a snowball fight in the middle of DC!

Just when that snow was almost completely melted away... bam, two more snowy days, the most recent being on Sunday. Now, however, the DC area is bracing for a snowstorm that could start as early as mid-morning tomorrow and dump ANOTHER two feet here.


Wanting to avoid the grocery store panic (quick, where's my bread/milk/toilet paper?), I hit the store late last night and it was already crowded. The photo above is from December's Snowpocalypse.

Every time I log on to Facebook or Twitter, someone else is posting the most recent snow-cast, and it's followed by a string of "NooOoOoOOO!!!!" comments.

I can't wait to see the insanity that will inevitably ensue when the snow starts to stick tomorrow.

Traffic? YES! Lines at the Grocery and Liquor stores? YES! Schools and businesses closing early? YES (Heck, the Feds have already put a liberal leave policy in effect for tomorrow)!

I'll be spending my snowed-in weekend, baking cookies, enjoying some TV and movies with my boyfriend, blogging (lucky readers, you), and once again taking photos as often as possible.

Want some tips on how you too can survive a SNOWPOCALYPSE?

1. Go to the store early. Like 3 days. If you don't have it when the first flakes fall, it's not worth it. Trust me.

2. If you can avoid it, don't drive, but if you must get out, make sure that you have the right kind of car. Just because you have a pick-up truck, it doesn't mean that you should be driving in snow, especially if your bed is empty (car accident waiting to happen).

3. If possible, don't get snowed in alone - that's one sure-fire way to go stir-crazy. Make a plan with friends to end up at one person's home.

4. Record lots of silly stuff on your DVR (if you have one), if not invest in Netflix on-demand.

5. Bake. It makes your house smell good, gives you something to eat, and, at the end of the day, keeps you from being completely totally lazy. Try a new recipe!

6. Start digging your car out early, especially if you live in an apartment complex where you will get plowed in. Help your neighbors if they need it!

7. Enjoy it! Make snow angels or go sledding. I think running around in the snow can really put a smile on anyone's face.

PS Flights have already been canceled, the Feds are on liberal leave, and I know at least three people who were waiting in line at DC grocery stores for more than an hour!

February 3, 2010

Bringing it Back

So today I'm feeling the need for mental health day like WHOA. I just haven't felt this strange in a while, and I usually fix these days by enjoying a nice afternoon to myself. Since I have work, I usually have to wait until after five, but I'm treating myself to a short day and am heading home in the next hour. I don't have much going on here, and I can check my email from home. I can't wait to sit at home, drink some wine or something, make a tasty snack, and watch some mindless television.

Sometimes, however, I don't have the option of going home to unwind. Some days, my work load is ridiculous and I have to stay glued to my desk. The worst is the days when I'm not necessarily overloaded, but every thing keeps coming at me from all directions throughout the day, and I find myself with random spurts of downtime on my hands.

My cure for that? Online shopping.

Yes, I mentioned my love for vintage and retro clothing in an earlier post, but I promised Diana I would embellish on my favorite site: Modcloth.

Honestly, I think Modcloth is one of the best clothing sites on the Internet. Their clothing is cute and not terribly expensive, and surprisingly very diverse. It's where I can go for a cute dress that has a vintage flare, but not the vintage price. For those of you who don't know, good quality vintage clothing can run a high price tag - I'm not talking thrifting in this case, but vintage (I love thrifting, by the way).

The Flower Box Pin
this has been on my wishlist for months!

Modcloth.com is a small company run out of Pittsburgh, PA. It was founded in 2002 by the now-married Susan and Eric Koger, who were then only 17! Susan started selling vintage clothing finds out of her dorm room at Carnegie Mellon University and the business was booming. Susan and Eric (who were high school sweethearts) knew they had something great on their hands, and soon expanded to selling new clothing as well. Though the site sells more new than vintage clothing now, they buy most of their clothes from indie designers and still feature at least one new vintage item on their website per day (but good luck getting it - it sells super fast!).

The Christine Dress
too pricey for me right now (and out of stock)

Within the last two years, Modcloth has garnered about 1,000,000 million female viewers. Their Facebook page has almost 34,000 fans, yet the company still manages to respond personally to all wall posts (and twitters!). Between 2006 and 2008, the employee number went from 3 to 104. Talk about growth.

The Jade Dress.
I want this dress hardcore. (Sadly, it is currently out of stock.)

I don't remember how I found Modcloth the first time, but I remember checking it out when it was all vintage. It made me drool. Almost two years ago I met my friend Jenna Clark and one day she wore some awesome blouse from the site. Within a week I bought my first dress (which sadly, did not fit) and after a few tentative months of browsing, I went on a shopping rampage.

The Dancing Under the Stars Dress - Vintage, One-of-a-Kind.

Besides Modcloth being a small and unique company, they have little quirks about them that I love. They find fun and cute names for all their clothing and accessories and create stories for each item as well! In addition to selling clothing, they have a regularly updated blog on their site (by regular I mean 3-4 times a day!) that educates readers on great thrift finds, fashion blogs, style advice, and more. Every month they feature one fashion blogger and create a namesake dress for her! It's extremely personal and fun to be a part of.

Oh, and they have the cutest mascot:

Susan and Eric's awesome pug.

They also hold contests through twitter, text, the site and at one point Facebook (but after a regulation change were forced to remove the contest), that allows fans to win clothing, accessories, gift certificates and more. It's really cool.

Modcloth isn't the only site I buy my clothes on, but it's might as well be. I do, on occasion, splurge on vintage clothing from either Etsy or Market Publique. I tend to be more careful about these sites because the clothing is non-returnable (as vintage is with Modcloth, but at Modcloth I can buy vintage-inspired pieces that ARE returnable). However, I have managed to get some awesome things, including 1960s snowflake pins, and a 1970s swing skirt. Mostly recently I purchased a 1960s day dress from Etsy that I cannot wait to wear:

1960s Day Dress
mandarin collar and a-line shape
isn't it cool?

It was only $25, with shipping! That's a steal, my friends. Plus, the seller has a wicked cool fashion blog - but I'll discuss fashion blogs in a later entry.

Tips for vintage and Modcloth shopping (ok, all online shopping):
...Always check the sizing
...Know your measurements like the back of your hand
...Double check fabric type - looks for words like "stretch" and "sheer"
...For vintage, always check for condition and any wear
...Always consider length
...Remember that you have to have clothes that will coordinate
...Base spending on how often you'll wear it: cost of item/times you'll wear = cost-per-wear
...Look at the clothing from ALL angles
...Know return policies

There you go! Enjoy the site and let me know if you make any great finds!