The creativity dilemma

Happy belated New Year, everyone! Recently, while pulling an overnighter at work, with no one for company but the singers on my Spotify playlist, I found myself scribbling phrases and drawing doodles in a notepad. By the end of the night, I had written a poem which is somewhat indicative of where I am professionally. I enjoy what I do for the most part, but sometimes it becomes tedious and uninspiring. Take a gander at one of my workplace ramblings.

Pearl Street Blues

I avoid the clock like a plague,
Afraid to read the hands which dictate my fate.
The night is young, but I am not.
Silence makes me all too aware.
Tinny lyrics croon of wild imaginings
As I struggle to find my creative pulse.
This costume I wear constricts its flow.
When day breaks, I will dream in color
But until then there is darkness.
Boredom is a bi*ch.

While I wouldn’t describe myself as an artist, I do consider myself a creative person. When I used to write for a local newspaper, individuality was encouraged. In my current situation, the goal is to do the job to the best of my ability, but stay under the radar of my superiors, lest I get into trouble. That’s why I’ve kept this blog [fairly] updated – it’s my space for reflection, self-discovery, and imagination. Plus, I’m trying to keep my writing skills sharp – they may help me advance within the organization somewhere down the line.

On a lighter note: something I’ve been casually playing around with for awhile now is jewelry making. I like to “upcycle” old, unfashionable jewelry items into simple, wearable pieces. It doesn’t require too much skill, just a steady hand and an eye for pretty things. Armed with an old pair of pliers I found in my mom’s house, I twist metals and string beads to my heart’s content. So that’s my flavor of the month. Who knows, maybe I’ll finally pick up those oil pastels, acrylic paints, and canvas magnets sitting in the corner of my apartment.

 

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I’ve collected beads for years. I made these earrings as a friend’s Christmas gift.

 

 

I wore these earrings, made out of old necklaces, to a New Year’s Eve party.

 

 

A braided ring of metal wire and metallic seed beads.

 

 

The special occasion bracelet I reach for when I want sparkle, fashioned out of one of my sister’s broken earrings, and beads from an old faux pink pearl necklace.

 

 

I enter my late-20s next month, and this blog is all about doing things to get to a point where I’m comfortable in my own skin. I didn’t make a New Year’s resolution, so you’re hearing it here first: beginning in 2015, I pledge to be my most creative self, whether it be mentally, visually, artistically, musically, culinarily, or all of the above. My resolve will be put to the test as I help plan my best friend’s summer wedding and my own autumn wedding. Really looking forward to incorporating some of those awesome DIY details I’ve seen featured on so many blogs. Stay tuned to see if I stay true to my word. Commence the creativity challenge!

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Hitting the reset button

(May 25, 2012: Bitten by Sarah Jessica Parker denim jacket, H&M floral heart top, Old Navy skinny cargo pants, Gryson for Target woven shoulder bag, Le Tigre sunglasses)

Winter’s over, and summer’s just around the corner! Time to pack the black pea coats away and break out the bright colors (like the ones in this street mural of a subway). I have no more excuses for being lazy and dressing like a slob. Sad to say, but I didn’t post much through the winter or spring because I made very little effort in maintaining my appearance.

I even did an internship at a fashion PR firm from March through May, yet I just didn’t care enough to look my best. I left the internship to start a full time job at a dental office, and while this job probably won’t lead to discovering my dream career, I feel more comfortable in my own skin here. It’s safe to say that I should never pursue work in anything fashion related – I can’t keep up, and evidently, I don’t even care enough to try.

The reason I started this blog wasn’t to show off my awesome sense of style (obviously, right?). I started writing as a way of challenging myself to be the best version of myself I could be, starting from the outside, then moving on to the inside. I can admit I’ve done a pretty poor job of both. As this blog approaches its first birthday, I think it’s a fitting time to recommit myself to becoming better. Maybe the key is to start beautifying yourself from the inside first. Some say the way you look is a reflection of the way you feel about yourself. Either way, no more half assing it for me. In the words of How I Met Your Mother’s Barney Stinson, “CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.”

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Please ignore my flyaway hairs, but I’ll be less sloppy in the future. Okay, I never win anything, so let me just take a moment to spotlight these two toned wooden disc earrings I scored through a giveaway, courtesy of one of my favorite budget-friendly style blogs, Fashion Smashion. Thanks for this gorgeous gift, Ashley, and congratulations on your 100th post! Looking forward to your next hundred.

Sparkles in the winter gloom

Like many women, I’m addicted to colorful, glitzy things. The right accessory can take a plain outfit from boring to brilliant.  I’d been lusting after these Kate Spade Crystal Kaleidoscope earrings for awhile (Kate Spade, originally $98), but couldn’t bring myself to pay almost a hundred bucks for costume jewelry. Sadly, since they went on clearance for $43, they’ve been sold out. Where am I going to get my shiny fix now?

Enter a pair of colorful gem hair clips. When it’s cold, I’m tempted to just roll out of bed, bundle up, and head out the door to get wherever I need to be. I think these clips (Charlotte Russe, $4.50) could brighten up a look without too much effort on my part. They’re pretty spectacular, and only a fraction of what the Kate Spade earrings cost on sale. Haven’t been able to find myself a pair in stores, and I’ve been watching them for months, so I might have to go e-shopping to meet Charlotte Russe’s free shipping minimum. I need a new wardrobe, right? Yes. Can I afford it? Not really. But a certain milestone birthday is right around the corner…

A Night Out with fellow bloggers

My computer is okay now! A virus and malware can’t keep me from my blogging duties and pleasures.  Here is my long overdue recap of Blogger’s Night Out, exactly one week after the fact.

I was lucky to catch wind of the first ever Blogger’s Night Out, which took place on September 9th at the Pranna Restaurant and Lounge in NYC. Everyone looked fabulous, and it was a really great opportunity to meet fellow style bloggers. I have to admit that I was kind of intimidated, though; I’m really new to the style blogosphere, and the point of my blog is that I don’t really HAVE style, and my quest is to build it! People were mingling with the writers of blogs they follow, so I kind of just hung around and scoped out the sponsors represented, which included Lulu’s, Open Sky, Tortoise & Blonde, Zoya Nail Polish and more. Some sleazy-looking guy tried to talk to me about blogging, but I ignored him because he was obviously just using the event as an opportunity to pick up chicks. Scumbag! I saw other guys trying to pounce on bloggers as well.

Received a goodie bag with a six pack of nail colors from Zoya, a jeweled lizard necklace from Send The Trend, samples of Jessica Simpson’s new perfume, and offers and promotional codes from other retailers. Also picked up a loose bottle of nail polish at the Zoya table. SCORE! At the end of the event, I finally worked up the courage to engage a few fashionistas. Real glad I did, else I would have missed out. I’m frequenting their blogs for some inspiration, and you should too! Check them out:

Emijaa Jaaemil : a Brooklyn-based blogger’s lookbook and online shop featuring handmade jewelry designs.

The Limerick Lane : the spot for fashion deals, coupons and freebies.

The Style & Beauty Doctor: get your daily dose of fashion and beauty tips for women of all shapes, sizes and races.

Style Cusp : where style and life’s basics come together, from the founder of Blogger’s Night Out. (This is actually how I found out about BNO!)

Velvet Moon Diaries : a freelance fashion designer and consultant’s inspiration journal of fashion, art, embroidery, travel and film.

There was another blogger’s site I really wanted to share, but since I MAY have gotten a virus from going to the site, I’ll wait until that’s cleared up before I share the link love.

Also, check out screenwriter/filmmaker Joshen McEwen’s super fun video of all that went down at Blogger’s Night Out. Catch me at 01:52 laughing like the goofball that I am!

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Keeping it simple at the BNO wall with a Joyce Leslie blue tunic (got it from a friend at a swap party, and I wear it everywhere!), black woven waist belt (got it at a boutique I can’t remember the name of in Fort Greene), I Heart Ronson black leggings, Nine West black suede buckle booties, Coach bronze signature bag (there’s a name label stuck on it which I forgot to peel off), Amuse peacock feather headband, pink and gold bangles, pink wire mesh ring and silver ring.

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Bloggers Toya and Faiza of The Limerick Lane and Velvet Moon Diaries, respectively.

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BNO swag: Zoya’s ‘Smoke’ nail polish collection, a jeweled lizard necklace from Send The Trend, $15 shopping credit from Open Sky, and more.

Shop til you drop, with a few promo codes

Handmade Brazilian hoops, $55, a pick by supermodel Veronica Webb. Head over to OpenSky.com for more personal picks from Webb and other celebrity style curators. See below for a link to sign up and receive a $15 shopping credit!

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Hey all, I just wanted so share with you a few codes that I stumbled across at the most recent Bloggers Night Out event (a post on the event will appear later this week – my computer just crashed!). Check out these sites, then use the following codes to acquire some new threads and accessories at a prettier price. Let me know what you find. Happy shopping!

LuLu’swww.lulus.com – Get boutique fashion and accessories at a great price. Enter code ‘NYFWLULUS’ at checkout to save 15% sitewide [Exp. 9/21]

Open Skyopensky.com – Find and follow your style curators, then shop their handpicked, limited-time collections. Visit http://osky.co/blogger15 to sign up and get a $15 credit. [Exp. 30 days from sign up]

Sheynawww.sheyna.com – Shop handmade jewelry, or design your own. Enter promo code BNO20 to get 20% off your purchase. [Exp. unknown]

Tortoise & Blonde Eyeweartandb.co – Check out chic, affordably priced eyewear for men and women, then try them on virtually. Save 10% with code ‘LUCKYU’ [Exp. unknown]

What’s new, pussycat?

It’s time to start blogging again as I prepare for the next mini chapter of my life. Summer camp ends in two weeks, bringing to a close my time working with kids. I’ll likely stay until I find a new job or until they find a replacement, but I will officially be a free agent. They say money can’t buy happiness, but I think it could at least afford me some comfort and hopefully, eventually, new threads : )

Ever since summer camp started, my style goals have been put on hold. A daily outfit generally consists of shorts, a tee and sneakers. I have been biking or walking to work in an effort to cut my spending even more. Since I show up with helmet hair and drenched in sweat, there’s almost no point in dressing up or putting on makeup. One of my camp kids pointed out the other day that my hair was a mess. So much for children not caring about appearances.

I am back from my Hawaiian vacation, and though I packed a few cute items, I kind of just gave up since I didn’t start packing until the night before. I visited the islands of Oahu and Maui, where there was a lot less pressure to dress up than in New York! Not that there weren’t any fashionable chicks roaming the streets, but the style for the most part was very laid back…Honolulu is my kind of city! I did manage to obtain a few new items there: a maxi dress ($13.60), graphic tee ($10.41) and two pairs of glass stud earrings ($20.83). Before I left, I also purchased a floppy sun hat from my local Target ($12.34). This brings my total spent to $57.18. Deducted from the $100 budget I set in my last post, it leaves me with only $42.82 to spend on clothing and accessories for the rest of summer.

Glass button earrings, Maui Rainbow Jewelry, $10/pair.
Couldn’t resist these gems…They’re even prettier in person!


Floppy hat, Mossimo Supply Co., which I wore
while trying to fish in Maui. I caught nothing.

So what else is new? Aside from the vacation and impending job search, not much. I finally got around to doing something with my hair, right before I left for vacation. After very little thought, I decided to go with long layers and side bangs. It’s not drastically different from before, but it makes my very straight hair look less flat, plus I missed having bangs to frame my round head!

I hate these catch-up posts, but this is what happens when you slack off on your blogging duties. No more of that. Well, folks, I’m baaaaaack!

Hair insecurities

I’m sick this week, so it’s the perfect opportunity for me to talk about my blah hair. I have boring Asian hair. Every few years I might change it up for a short while, but then I always slip back into my default style: mid-length, straight, and parted slightly to one side. If your hair looks nice, you don’t even need to wear makeup, and yet you can still look pretty fabulous. A nice cut can also take an outfit from good to great, pulling your overall look together.

The problem is, I’m lazy and, let’s face it, pretty clueless. I allow my hair to air dry at night, and I don’t even brush my hair in the morning before I walk out the door. When my hair looks even messier than usual, I usually tie it back into a ponytail, only to take it out again because I feel self conscious without any strands framing my rather round face.

My guy prefers my hair long (how original – what guy doesn’t?), and though I loved my chin-length bob from years ago, I realize I’ve got my entire life to wear my hair short. Long gray/white hair just looks weird.  Before I leave for my three week vacation to Hawaii in July, I need a haircut, and I’m thinking I should get bangs. I want to keep it the same length, but I need some style, and it has to be low maintenance. I also have a pretty decent selection of hair accessories, but I don’t really know how to use them to boost my look. Any suggestions?