Monday, December 27, 2010

A sad Christmas

I sincerely hope everybody had a happy holiday. Unfortunately, my grandmother passed away on Christmas morning. To say that it has been difficult would be an understatement. It was sudden and unexpected, but when the phone rang so early (almost at dawn) on Christmas day, I knew.

My grandmother would've been 89 years old in April. She lived a full life, but at the end, she succumbed to illnesses that come with age. I hadn't seen her for a few years, simply because I couldn't stand to see her like that. I know it's not the best reason, but whenever I saw her, she just got worse. She didn't recognize anybody anymore. The only peace that I get is knowing that it was quick; she was barely in the hospital for an hour before she passed.

Things are probably going to be a little quiet around here while I deal and adjust. I've been mostly calm, but it's a confused calm. And a calm infused with guilt. Like, I shouldn't be enjoying myself this holiday season because she can't. And I'm sad. Thankfully, Damian, my family and friends have all been great support.

So, I do wish you a happy holidays, but I'll be quiet for a while. Maybe a few days, a few weeks. But I hope you are appreciating everybody you care for. You never know when something like this will strike.

Much love to you all.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Holidays.

A peek at our Christmas e-card this year...

To all, I hope that the upcoming days are one of rest and reflection. Independently of Christmas, this is a time to wind down 2010 and plan for 2011. Let's remember the good, the bad, and the ugly. Let's learn and appreciate them. Many of us have gained loved ones, many of others have lost. Let's smile that it happened, not cry that it's over. Let's gear up to accomplish our dreams. Let's learn to accept ourselves and others. Let's put up the good fight and stand up for what we believe in.

Let's keep keeping on!

Best wishes now and all year long.



Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The perils of living independently

This whole growing up thing is awesome and sucky at the same time. Yes, I'm 27. Yes, I've been living on my own for a year. But! Still new to this whole "you're in charge of EVERYTHING"! In Hispanic culture (though not exclusively to it...there's a boom occuring in Japan), it's typical for children to live with their parents well into young adulthood until they either marry or establish themselves economically. Well, I'm not married nor am I super well-established economically, but I am getting there! (At least, to the economy part of the equation.)

All this to say, we're still moving in. We've got plenty of stuff in already, but there's still some left over at the old place. Boo. It's been fun, but a bit...grueling, to say the least. We've managed to injure our necks, backs, and knees. We put up our tree; Genghis has already tried to climb it and eat the ornaments. Oy. He managed to trick us for the first two days, too. Looking all disinterested in the tree...clever little clover we have...

I will be back to posting soon (hopefully maybe even today? Could it be?!). Meanwhile, tell me. What are you doing the next couple of days? Working? Taking time off and spending it with your family? Buying last minute presents? Share!

Monday, December 20, 2010

It's not you, it's them

Sometimes, you'll be wearing an outfit and you'll be all, damn yo. I look good. You're going to be riding high on the wave of self-esteem and accomplishment. You feel good and your outfit reflects that. All of a sudden, you walk by someone and they give you The Look.

You know, The Look. Not I Have Romantic Intentions With You look. Or the You're in Big Trouble! look. Nor am I talking about Roxette's song The Look. The Look. The Look that decimates all the good mood you had until that point. It could either mean, oh just look at you in your silly outfit. Or, ugh, I hate you and your clothes. It can mean a bunch of things. Point is, you got The Look.

What does it mean, why did you get it? What did you do to deserve it? Did you accidentally step on any toes? Did dressing your best actually offend somebody? Did you forget to wear deodorant or brush your teeth? Speaking of teeth, is some of my lunch still on them? Those are just some of the questions that buzz through many of our minds when The Look happens. But worry not. Why? Because it's not about you; it's all about them.

Sometimes when we dress, feel, or just plain ol' act our best, we intimidate people. And it's not like we mean to. We might dress our best as a shield, but it's our shield. It's meant to make us feel better, not make others feel bad. So why do people react? Why do I say that it's all about them? Their looks usually reflect insecurities and frustrations. They may feel insecure about their outfit or the work they are doing, and when they see somebody looking or doing better than them, well. They can be hurt and confused on how to react. And sometimes, they don't react in the best way.

So what do you do when this happens? Well, keep your chin up. Ignore it. Smile. Maybe when you do that, the other party will see how silly they've been. If they continue to glare at you, you could consider asking them if everything is okay. Maybe that will jar them out of their haterrific stupor. Point is, don't let them get to you. They're being silly. If you let them affect you, you're hurting both yourselves. They're hating themselves because they're engaging in unhealthy emotional practices (judging themselves against you, expressing it immaturely) and you're hurting yourself because it may be a blow to your self-esteem, your day, your perceptions, among other things.

I think that, instead of being petty and acting out that way, those people should simply stop and reevaluate themselves. Why are they acting out this way? What makes them feel threatened? If it's just envy, well, what do they envy? Is that person dressing their best and you feel like you look bad? Is that person in good shape and you feel you've let yourself go? Ponder the why of your actions and instead of using those feelings to glare at the other person, employ them in empowering yourself. Promise yourself you'll work out. Make a commitment to planning your outfits and looking your best. Don't let it turn from a momentary lapse in good judgement into a Look!

How would you react? What would you or have you done in the face of The Look? Do you let it get you down? Or, have you given The Look? Why?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

A hundred years later: Lady Gaga concert

So way back when in September, when I went to the DMV and took a day trip to Philly to visit Zeynep, I saw Lady Gaga. Well, I didn't edit the pictures until a couple of days ago. I know, I'm horrible. I really need to sit down and organize my laptop, because I sort of found the pictures by accident. Ugh. However, here they are! Look, look! I'm distracting you with Gaga! (For more detail, click the pictures; they'll take you to my Flickr page.)







So how was the concert? Pretty amazing. Girl's got pipes, talent, and attitude to spare. As an all around nerd, I was geeking out with my friend Gloria, being mad envious of her piano skills. ( Later in the trip, we went to a Korean BBQ/Karaoke place and Gagad some more, evidence here thanks to my boyfriend Damián. He's captured this moment for eternity. Check out the mike covers! ) I'd like to see her in concert again, most definitely. Hopefully with better seats! But, all in all, a great night was had with good friend. What else could I ask for? (Maybe for some Photoshop on that karaoke picture, but, oh well. I'll laugh at it when I'm older.)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

What do you not invest in?

I have to admit, I'm a bit of a miser. I find it hard to invest money in things (this from the person who openly weeps at Marc Jacobs items). I hem and haw a lot. Of course, there is the occasional splurge, but I would rather buy things on sale and/or thrifted. I generally prefer thrifted because, well, you're helping the environment, for one! Two, it's much better on the wallet. Third, you always find the kookiest, most unique things, and stuff that was in store a short while ago that somebody already got tired of. It's a win-win!

Of course, nothing compares to the thrill of going into the store and trying things on in a mirror. A real one, not a car's side mirror. I've grown very fond of Zara's and Old Navy's super sales. Very fond. But I digress. There are things, as my mother has said repeatedly, that you should invest in. Real estate, jewelry, and classic pieces. My mother was the one who urged me to get a good black, bag. And then, you know, I went and got a Marc Jacobs bag. I got it off eBay for around $200, and its cost per wear is already down to pennies.

One thing that I am really stubborn about spending money on is glasses. More exactly, glass frames. I try to thrift them or buy a nice quality, but on sale, set of frames. I bought a pair of Gucci frames at the Salvation Army for a dollar. I had them outfitted with my prescription for only $55 and there you go. $56 dollars for a pair of good quality frames! My first ever pair is Cynthia Rowley and I got them at a JCPenney sale, with prescription, for $87 dollars.

My big regret is investing in a pair of big-name frames. Over $200 were spent on those frames and they barely lasted a week. I had to go several times in for repairs, but in the end, I just gave up and quit wearing them.

Another reason that I don't want to invest in glasses (or sunglasses) is that I utterly destroy them. You name it, it's probably happened to my glasses/sunglasses. Fallen out of cars, eaten by dogs, slammed with books, sat on, thrown, etc. That's why I either thrift or buy on sale.

However, a new option is on the horizon. Some time ago, somebody mentioned on a fashion community I've visited a couple of times, and every time I see a pair of frames that I want to buy! Best of all, there are frames starting at $6.95, can go crazy and get a couple, if that's your style. For someone like me, who doesn't like investing a lot of money in a frame, this is a good idea. However, I cannot attest for quality. Everyone I've spoken to says they're very good but I've yet to try some myself. Everytime I plan on ordering, I kind of chicken out. I may or may not wait until my next appointment and have them done with the new prescription. Or I could just go ahead, live dangerously, and get them now!

What do you not invest in? Why? I want to know!

(Please note that I am talking about frames, not the quality of the lenses. Never play around with your health, kids!)

This post has not been sponsored by Zenni Optical.

Friday, December 17, 2010

My dark fashion secret

Everyone has one. A dark fashion secret. Some sort of deep fashion shame that you can't admit to in public or perhaps even to yourself. But what is it? What's that one thing that makes you feel awkward, that you don't want to declare?

I have no problems with sweatpants. I only wear them at home when I work out or when I clean. Nowadays, they're being worn just to clean since I'm not working out at all. I fail, I know. Three-toed sloths have nothing on me, I tell you. I've only worn sweatpants outside of the house once, to class. It felt so uncomfortable that I never did it again.

However, I do have a dark fashion secret. I'm embarrassed to declare that I have grunge tendencies. By this I mean that I will become obsessed with an item and wear it over and over again until it develops of a life of its own and tries to murder me. Oh, wait, that's just a nightmare I had. But, really, I do wear things over and over again. I fixate. Sometimes for weeks. I have to pry said article or accessory off my body, otherwise, there it will remain. Attached to me. Forever.

Another bad habit is that once that article or accessory is cast off my body, I may not see it for a long time. Weeks, months, years. Yes, years. I found a dress that I wore once, felt awkward in, and chucked into the closet. Now I can't take it off and I've made a moratorium of wearing it once every two weeks. Sometimes I cave and wear it once a week. Oops. I am weak of will.

I'm also guilty of buying things that are too big. I purchase them with all the intention of fixing them up and wearing them immediately, but. Well. Poop happens. And so there's a pile of clothes in a corner that Damián points to, asking, Honey. When are you going to fix that? All this while I run away and hide in the fridge with the dog. Best hiding place, really.

So, tell me. What's your dark fashion secret?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Getting my outfit groove on (or fighting the good fight)

Glasses: You know! They're Old Navy, and you know!
Shirt: Old Navy via flea market
Camisole: Calvin Klein
Belt: Kress
Skirt: store in Spain
Tights: Gap or Old Navy
Shoes: Sears

This outfit made me happy. It still does. I originally bought the pink top for mom, but when she tried it on, it was too big for her. Well, heck, it's too big for me as well, but that's nothing that a belt can't fix!

I'm really feeling the pink. Particularly, hot, bright pink. In fact, I've noticed that, lately, I'm buying a lot of that sort of pink for my wardrobe. First, it started with pink a pink shirt. What's next? A pink dress? We'll see.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Ghosts of outfits past

So here are some outfits that I took pictures of before the great fashion slump (which I think I've overcome, but you can never be too sure with never know when they'll strike!).

By the way? The dress in the last two pictures? Cost me .10 at a flea market. Yes. A whole ten cents. I'm so damn happy with it, I've already made up for the investment by wearing it too many times. Ten cents, kids! Flea markets rule!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

It's all in the bag

Purses, bags, handbags. We all need them. We all use them to carry around our stuff. (Except, of course, when we're wearing a fancy dress to which we cannot match a clutch. Then we somehow manage to convince our dates and/or friends to carry our stuff in their pockets/purses.)

When you buy purses, what do you do? Do you go for a quick problem solver or do you make it an investment piece?

I have to say I have been "guilty" of both. Of course, there is nothing to be guilty of. It's your money and you should (carefully and wisely) do with it what you want. But, I digress. The subject is purses, not money management. I have dropped a decent amount of money on more expensive, higher quality purses. I have a weakness for Marc Jacobs and a tender soft spot for Coach. I've always wanted an Yves Saint Laurent Muse, but after being burned by a fake on eBay, my love for the Muse has petered out. But not for the band. I still love Muse, very much so.

That said, despite having what can be called "investment" purses, I love a good deal. I also love thrifting. So I have a lot of purses from Old Navy, Marshalls, and sundry other stores that I cannot recall, in addition to second-hand scores. And I give them just as much love as I do my other ones. After all, they were bought because they appealed to me. So higher price tag or not, they mean something to me and I take care of them, dollar or hundred dollar bag that it may be.

Of course, there are other factors when it comes to purse purchasing. Do you have a limited amount of space and therefore only make investment pieces? Or do you make investment pieces due to budget constraints and wear those forever?

I want to know: What goes on in your head when you make a purse purchase? Do you limit yourself or go crazy? Do you go for investment or a quick piece that will last a year or two? Let's talk!

Monday, December 13, 2010

In memory of...

Posts will continue in their regular consistency and upbeat attitude, but I just wanted to let you know of a situation that I’m going through. I also needed to unload, express how I feel, since I've been upset and emotional about it since Saturday. I usually don’t go into very personal things here (though my definition of personal is perhaps very different, as I talk about poop, weight issues, depression, etc), but I’m going through a tough time since this past Saturday. Through Facebook, I received a message from an old ex-friend in regards to an old university friend of mine. It stated that if I could get into contact with another friend because our friend, A, had passed away.

When I read the e-mail, I couldn’t believe it. I just couldn’t. We hadn’t heard from him for a couple of years; he’d disappeared from the university. My friend K managed to get into contact with him a few months ago, but he was not as open as he was before. Again, we didn’t know how he passed. We had speculated, due to the sad state of affairs this country is in, that he had either been a victim of a hate crime or he had committed suicide.

Today, I found out that he had committed suicide last week, from Sunday to Monday. He left no note; he was found in his dorm.
A was one of the most beautiful and amazing people we’d ever known. He was open and sincere, and he was always willing to hear you and try to help you out. I still remember him going to school in his long black skirts. He also had the most beautiful black hair. We loved running our hands through it. I remember K and I arguing with him about missing class and getting ridiculously drunk. I remember him getting the highest score in his entire class while he was drunk. We berated him for it, but still. A was incredibly smart. I will always remember him.

When I found out that he died, I immediately felt the urge to vomit. The thoughts racing through my head were that somebody killed him or he committed suicide. A was gay and he had faced harassment and discrimination from both random people and, to make things worse, his family. His parents forced him into a “de-gay” program, made him go to a psychiatrist and put him under heavy anti-psychotics. A wasn’t psychotic. He just was A. Gay or not, he didn’t deserve anything that happened to him and now I feel like shit because I’m thinking we could’ve done more for him.

I don’t think I can say anything else except that people have to accept others as they are. The type of discrimination that many people face, be they emos, goths, GLBT community, and sundry, is ridiculous and unnecessary. Underneath it all, we’re all the same. We are human beings with feelings, thoughts, memories, and connections between us. Why can’t we all just get along? Why can’t we all just respect each other? It’s the least we could do.

A, we will miss you. We will never forget you. I hope that now you’ve found the peace that you so searched for in life, even though we will miss you. While you were with us, you made us so happy. We love you very much, and we're sorry we couldn't do more.

A happy thing...

Encounters with fluffy tailed being - 2
Photo thanks to boyfriend extraordinaire, Damián Osoroco.

...feeding a squirrel.

What's one thing that makes you happy?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

On the subject of weight

How're you doing? Everything good? Sit down, have some tea. Biscuit? Good, it may come in handy. This may take a while.

I've always been active. Some way or another, I always managed to run, jump, and over all get my exercise. I did have a bit of baby fat as a child, which developed into over 40 to 50 pounds of extra weight as a teenager. But I always managed to get some exercise. Be it at Phys Ed class, walking to dad's garage after school, or doing my chores at home (helloooo, yard work!). Needless to say, the extra weight did come with its consequences: I have scoliosis and sundry conditions that were affected by the extra weight on my joints. For me, weight has always been an issue of health and vanity. I get upset because I can't fit into my pants, but I get even more upset when my knees hurt or my back is killing me.

That said, weight is all around us. Or rather, the subject of weight. Whereas before carrying an extra pound or two was a sign of health and abundance (after all, it signified that you were wealthy or capable to afford extra food; you were not left wanting), now extra weight is seen as a sign of sloth and carelessness towards oneself. How did this all change? What triggered this? More importantly, what can we do to change these conceptions?

In the fashion world, the subject of weight is always involved. Even if it is not discussed, it is still there, out in the open. And it is quite a loud subject. It's there, screaming from the ads, the runways, the clothes, and the attitudes displayed by the creators and the consumers. In a way, fashion has become an Idealogical State Apparatus (ISA), and it perpetuates the more of thin is in. Even though there have been attempts to "normalize" weight in the fashion atmosphere (ie, the BMI standard, Crystal Renn, new designers embracing different shapes), we haven't really seen any actual steps forward. We still see hangers walking down the runway. We still have discrimination in the name of business and economics (thanks to the age old excuse that it's better to make a sample size and send that down). And, furthermore, the concept of normalization. What is normal? There is no singular body shape that dominates the world, so why are we trying to make it one size fits all?

It is important to note that I am not condemning the people who suffer from the subject of weight. If you are thin, average, overweight, it doesn't matter to me. What is important, however, is that you be healthy. That is all I argue for. And the fashion industry, to my view, doesn't promote healthy. It promotes underage, undeveloped and excessively thin bodies. Many of these new models are still in the early stages of adolescence. Their bodies are thin, spindly, growing out yet not filling out. Why are they being subjected to the idea of thin and working out at such an early age? Just look at what happened to Coco Rocha. God forbid that she grow into an adult and get some weight on her hips. What is she now, a 4? And she has been mostly marginalized by mainstream runways.

I think that the media and many of us don't realize that our weight is in a constant state of flux. We will never be same weight all the time. Sure, we can be within the same range, which is give or take 5 pounds from our usual weight. But our weight will never be constant. We are machines that intake and process elements. These elements carry weight in and of themselves. Furthermore, these elements and our body produce weight through the process of waste disposal (aka urine and feces). And add to that that some foods and drinks make us bloat, so there. More weight. Water weight! So why are we freaking out because, oh my sweet Dior pencil skirt, we've gained a pound or two or three since Thanksgiving? I don't know about you, but I did an awful lot of eating, so I know I will be bloated and heavier. But it's just my body processing all that I put in it. Why freak out?

This all came to being due to a conversation I had with a close friend some time ago. Ria, whose always been thin, has been really into working out and health issues for more than a year now. She's always been active, but upon starting a new workout regimen, she's become more aware of her body and health. She hasn't lost weight, in fact, I do believe she's gained it. In muscle. And she looks great because she's eating healthy and working out so she can be healthy. She derives great physical and mental health from it, and that's what's important about working out.

Ria and I were discussing the concept of "No Fat Talk" Week and how it may make a small difference, but it's not attacking the whole. It just further cements the divisiveness of the subject. We can't keep putting everything into the fat and thin boxes. We need to talk about the issues and fears underlying these categorizations. By just saying, you look thin or you look overweight, you're making a blanket statement. Why is that person thin? Why is that person overweight. Is it a medical condition? Is it due to psychoemotional issues? These are the things that have to be discussed. Health! Vanity will always be a part of the weight issue, but it shouldn't be the be all and end all.

Our health comes first, always.

As someone who's an academic (my two degrees are in English, specialty Literature, but I focus on gender, minority, and social media issues), an ex-athlete, and a person who has been over and underweight, I always analyze it through those glasses. As an academic, I see the ramifications, the significations, the concepts abounding. Or at least, in theory. The loss or gain of weight in fashion is seen as a subjection or finding of the self. It can also be a protest towards the fashion standards. But then, why do some yield? For all the talk that Crystal Renn has done, she is facing a lot of criticism for losing weight. Same goes to many other mainstream actors, models, musicians, and so forth. And let's not get into the world of dance, what with Alaistar Macaulay's incredibly rude and insensitive comment towards premier ballerina Jenifer Ringer.

I want to hear your thoughts. Are there any steps do you think we should take as a consumer and creator collective to change these perceptions? What can we do? Have you been victimized because of weight? Let's get talking!

Friday, December 10, 2010

A look back: Christmas 2008

I can't believe it's already two years since this happened! I wish my friend Gloria was here again so we could have a ball once more. This was her first time in Puerto Rico, which was seriously over due. We'd made plans for her coming over in 2006, but unfortunately, that's when I fell ill and the trip had to be cancelled. Though she was over for a short time, we made the most of it!

DSCF2734 retro




buena vista poinsettia



I'm usually nostalgic around Christmas, and looking at these pictures has made me even more nostalgic. Damián and I went to visit her this past September, but we don't get to see each other nearly enough! Thankfully, she'll be getting married next year and we're definitely going to the wedding. However, it's sad to only be able to properly hang out such few and far between times. At least we have instant messaging and e-mail!

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Parents: a conversation

Conversation in regards to dress that came in the mail. Over the phone.

Dad: Something came in the mail.
Me: Oh, good. I'm expecting some things.
Dad: What are you expecting?
Me: A dress, a purse.
Dad: Well, this looks like a shirt.
Mom: A shirt?
Dad: Yes, a shirt.
Me: It's a dress. I didn't order a shirt.
Dad: It looks like a shirt.
Mom: If she says it's a dress, it's a dress!
Dad: Does it fit her?
Mom: Trust her!
Dad: This looks like a shirt.

For the record, the dress is actually knee length. How in the world did that man figure that was too short, I don't know. Maybe my father thinks I've gotten to frivolous, wearing knee-length skirts and all.

I'm kidding. My dad's pretty liberal with what I wear, as long as the important bits are covered. Wait, I think I'm just shooting myself in foot repeatedly. I'll shut up now. I'll post the dress as soon as I get it cleaned...

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Travel in style?

Do you travel in style? I must admit, I frequently do not. I try, but, usually, my suitcase gives way to comfort. After all, I usually go on demented holidays that involve climbing stairs on cliff faces or stuffing my face.

Okay, maybe not so demented.

But, again, I must admit that the only times I've coldly calculated what goes into my suitcase are conference trips. When I recall my trips to Boston, Albuquerque, New Orleans, and Oxford, I do see that the outfits I wore throughout the trip were rather stylish. Like, you know, this extremely life-saving coat. That I've worn so many times on too many occasions. I have to change the lining already...

(Click the images to enlarge.)


Or this, which could pass off as just casual hanging out gear. If only the pigeons didn't give away my tourist n00bness.


But then, you know, there's always this.


With Boston Quackers


Oh, dear.

I honestly think that my most stylish, or at least, decently stylish, trip was this last one to Washington, DC. And there are barely any pictures. Hm. How do you guys pack for vacation? Do you pack for style or do you pack for comfort? Can there be style and comfort? I mean, please don't bring sweatpants into the equation, folks.

How do you travel? How do you pack? What makes the cut? Do you have a limit on clothing items? I want to know how you guys do it!

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

New apartment, new start

Some of you may know that Damián and I are in the midst of a move. We're finally getting out of ye olde apartment, and moving into a town house. Yay! We've been busy with searching for furniture, cleaning, and moving things. And, everyone? We're still not done. Boo. We've been on this for nearly three weeks, and we're not close to being done. Double boo. However, all we need for the bare necessities to be covered is a sofa and the water, since I managed to get the power transfer done today. Now, getting the water and power transfer is another story for another day. And maybe that will include a drink or two, but I can't promise anything. The sofa business will, hopefully, be taken care of today, which means that all that's left is...


That's right, folks. We have to get paint. Honestly, I don't know if you have the same problem where you rent, but over here? Every single apartment we've seen seems to have a bad romance with sickening shades of beige. Yech. So we will remedy this problem by giving the new place a pretty proper paint job that will make the place look larger and brighter with the use of saturated and lighter colors.



Candid Blue


Tantalizing Teal



Of course, Damián is involved in the color selection, but every time I bring a name up, he's all, I trust you, dear. Hmmm. We'll see about that! I think it's quite funny that all the colors I'm liking are variations of blue and green, particularly light yet bright ones. I love green, but I've never been a big fan of blue. Damián would say that it's a sign of age, this changing of taste. Well, poop. Blame getting older on expanding one's horizons, why don't you?

Anyway, we're thinking of doing a semi-gloss, and for now, these are the colors on the short-list. Well, my short-list. Which is our short-list since the boy has shirred all paint responsibilities to me! Mwahahahaha! But, yes. Any favorite colors that you love using in your home? Any good or bad experiences with painting? I want to hear about it! :)

All color samples are property of Sherwin Williams. For more information on their products, please visit their website. I am in no way endorsing or affiliated with them. It just so happens to be that they have the colors I like!

Outfit backlog: the Knee (Brace) Diaries

So I was slogging through the files on my computer when I found these. And then I remembered that I had meant to post this quite a bit of time ago. Oops. Sorry. Better late than never, right?

These pictures are from when I busted up my knee earlier this year. To this day, I'm suffering the consequences of that. I can't wear certain types of heels and it's hard for me to walk or go up and down stairs at times. Which brings me to today's lesson: don't ever rush to work. You'll only end up hurting yourself. Just look at me. Trying to get early to work, hit myself hard on the knee and finished tearing up my meniscus into a dark oblivion.

But I digress. For the months following that, I had to wear a knee brace. And I couldn't wear heels at all. I wore heels to my thesis defense (of which I have no outfit picture of, d'oh), and, man. Was that fun. It was a party. Seriously. I should've gotten arrested, the stuff that went down in that knee. I'm fairly sure there were illegal substances there. And candy. But, again, I veer off course. How do you dress up when you have that black thing covering your leg? (I'm sorry, brace. It's not your fault, it's just that you're properly aesthetically designed. And you were one of the better looking ones.) I did my best. While I didn't document all of my outfits, I think I was dressing better then than now. Ouch. Double ouch, when I'm reminded of the knee business again.

On the bright side, the injury has made me much more mindful of the types of shoes I buy. I think I look for quality shoes more now, whereas before, if I liked it, I wouldn't give it much of a thought. It has to fit, and it has to fit well. They also cannot hurt. I can't go around injuring myself anymore. That's what working out is for!

Oh, and I'm not crediting the clothes because
a) you're going to see a lot of them around here
b) it would take forever and you'd get bored; then where would we be?

Monday, December 06, 2010

Copy, copy

Shirt: Gap
Belt: Old Navy
Skirt: Rave
Tights: Kmart
Boots: Franco Sarto via Shop Goodwill

This outfit marks the first time I feel good about an outfit in a while. I usually roll up the sleeves on all my shirt, but it was far too cold that day. And, yes, I'm wearing that shirt that seems to have taken over the blogosphere. And, yes, I've inadvertently worn an outfit that similar to one of Kendi's remix outfits. First, that shirt was sitting in the closet for ages and just now I felt the urge to wear it. It's a perfectly adorable shirt; that's why so many of us bloggers have it! Second, the possible Kendi remake of an outfit? I swear I didn't do it on purpose. Maybe I looked at the post and it stayed on my mind? Wah! In any given case, if my subconscious decided that day that Kendi was my muse, well, then. Isn't imitation the sincerest form of flattery?

Sorry for the Photoshopped faces, folks. I'm still trying to get then hang of taking pictures of myself for the blog. Again. Oops.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

I don't know what's going on here.

Face: Photoshop
Dress: Converse for Target
Tights: Payless, I think.
Boots: Forever 21

I think that maybe this is an example of "when statement tights go wrong". In fact, that can be a show. When Statement Tights Go Wrong! Watch tonight as Stella makes a fool of herself in badly matched attire! Don't miss it! On Blogger TV

Okay, so probably maybe this wasn't that bad. I don't know. I asked Damián and he said I looked good. Or fine. I don't remember which. I do know that I liked the outfit when I had it on, when I walked out of our apartment, and when we went to dinner. I don't like it so much now when I see the pictures.

Where did I go wrong? Maybe I shouldn't have used that color boot. Maybe the dress buttons made the outfit too busy. I don't know, but there's something that's bothering me, nagging. Oh well. The important thing is that I wore it. That I tried. Which is what we should all do! After all, style is a process of trial and error.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Working dog.

This is a situation I run into often.

He's all, excuse me, woman. I have to work.

And then I fret, of course, because I'm his mother. What's he doing? Is he on the internet? Should I make him an account with parental controls? Is he looking for a partner? Does he manage stocks online? Does he have a blog? A Facebook? A Twitter?! A doggie mom could go mad while contemplating the possibilities.

It's 12AM. Do you know where your dog is? Online?

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Ootd: one dress, two days

The floral returns! And, it has a sequel.

Casual dressing: about to get my paella on.

Glasses: Old Navy
Dress: Fleamarket
Sandals: Kmart

Granny Steampunk goes to work.

Glasses & dress, well, you know.
Belt: Ages ago, Kress
Tights: Kmart
Shoes: Urban Outfitters

I saw this dress from afar at the Cabo Rojo (CR) fleamarket and I just had to have it. Best part? It was .50. Yes. Half a dollar. And I've already worn it several times. I'm already plotting many other ways to wear this puppy. With a belted cardigan, with some flats and a vest, boots, wearing it under a skirt as a top...I can see it now. These are going to be the best fifty cents ever!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Outfit of the day: fighting the fashion funk

Glasses: Old Navy
Necklace: Mayagüez Fleamarket
Shirt: Old Navy
Belt: The 80s via my mom
Skirt: Cabo Rojo fleamarket
Tights: No clue.
Shoes: La Defensa

So this is one of my first outfits after my fashion slump confession. I think it feels like I'm trying too hard. But! At least this means I'm trying, right? And that's what counts! No? Cookie?

Lately, most of my outfit have some floral infusion. Be it a shirt, skirt, tights, or accessories, I just want to be covered in flowers! I think it's quite funny since less than 2 years ago the only flowers I wanted had to be in vases. Now, I see a floral print and cannot help but gravitate towards it.

In retrospect, the shoes may have been too much. But the only other high heeled oxfords I have are black and I didn't want to wear black that day. :/

Monday, November 29, 2010

The morning of our discontent.

The morning of the statement tights outfit, what I ended up wearing was not what I started out with. I was originally going to try for a louder outfit, but it just didn’t work. I changed my top half around twice, which is not a lot, but drove Damián nuts. (Sorry Damián, I am going to bring this up!) I wanted something to accentuate my waist in this outfit since I was wearing a sleeveless cardigan that wasn’t very tailored. He doesn’t like me wearing belts. And then he drops the bomb,

You’re just going to work. It’s not fashion.

And so I whirled my head at him aghast. What? What did you just say to me, sir?

I know he meant well, but here’s the thing. How many of us have gone through shitty moments at work and all that’s getting us through is good fashion, good friends, and a jelly donut? Sometimes we need to look good for ourselves, not just for our job. It’s for our well-being. A peek at our amazing shoes, crazy tights, or yummy details on our top or bottom can help distract us from a lousy day. I know that for many people it’s just clothes, but for a great deal more, clothes can make or break a mood. Even my boy isn’t exempt from fashion: he loves his Calvin Klein!

So, bottom line: next time you see your significant other struggling to look fab, don’t tell them it’s just work or clothes. To them it may mean a whole lot more and could make a difference in how they present themselves to the world. To them, a crappy outfit may bring them down. So help them figure it out. Just make sure that if you’re running out of time, be tactful! ;)

Thursday, November 25, 2010


To everyone who celebrates Thanksgiving, I hope you had a very happy one full of family, friends, and love. But, to everyone! Everyone who reads this blog, thank you! Thank you for stopping by, reading, and leaving comments. I hope you all have lovely, lovely days!

As for me, I am thankful for everything. For you, for my family, my boyfriend, my dogs, my friends. For all the opportunities and the missed chances because you learn from everything. To those who celebrate Thanksgiving, it has to be celebrated all year long. We can't wait for just one day to be thankful for all we have. And then go on a consumerrific "holiday" the next day.

Let's all be thankful!

Outfit of the day: Statement tights.

A short while ago, I commented on Arash's blog. He’s a UK-based image consultant that I stumbled upon while browsing IFB. They were showcasing his article on statement tights. He really broke it down to the basics of how to wear tights, specially ones with print, and how they bring an entirely new spin to the outfit.

I, for one, adore tights. I had to take them out of my bureau and buy one of those closet organization drawers (the large ones). They command an entire drawer, but honestly, they are escaping out because they are just too many. I don’t mind. Tights are one of life’s simple pleasures. They’re relatively inexpensive and can make a spring/summer outfit wearable in fall/winter.

On Arash’s blog, he mentioned that to wear busy tights, you have to tone it down on the rest of the body. Reading his post encouraged me to bust out of my fashion slump, even if just a little, to wear one of my recent tights purchases. I may or may not have mentioned it on the blog, but I have a soft spot for argyle print, so when I saw a pair of argyle tights on the Forever 21 website, I rushed out to get them instore. Alas, they had either not arrived or already sold out. But all was not lost. I wandered into Payless and spotted this pair and we’re in love. They’re warm and yummy and they’re argyle. Damián doesn’t know yet.

They key to wearing busy tights is to keep it neutral on the rest of the body. That’s not to say you can’t make it interesting. I’m wearing different neutrals (black, navy, and gray), but they’re also different textures, so they add more tactile and visual interest in the outfit. And, very important, they keep me warm!

I know some people say that you shouldn’t mix brown and black/blue and black, but I don’t care. Some people also say that I shouldn’t wear a belt! But I say wear what you want. As long as you’re happy with your outfit, that’s all that matters.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Keepin’ it real (there will be poop)

Sorry for the radio silence, everyone. I had no internet! But...

Guys, guys, GUYS. (Well, maybe that should read everyone, everyone, EVERYONE? I digress.)

Having pets is not for the faint of heart.

You always run the risk of them getting sick or hurt. Yes, I’m being extreme. On the lighter side, there’s always the chance that they will eat your shoes, clothes, furniture, and body parts, among other things. But one thing is certain. One thing is unavoidable.

At any given point in your life as a pet, particularly dog, owner, there will be poop.

I do wish that it is merely “oh, I am taking my dog on a walk, which means they will relieve themselves” type of poop. Not the type of poop Damián and I have experienced last night. Dear Freddie Mercury, the poop we have experienced last night.

Don’t worry. There are no pictures. Of the poop, at least.

Arriving home from work, I was ready for another day of packing, cleaning, and organizing. I was also ready to see my dear Genghis’ face to cheer me up after a stint in traffic, when I saw some shapes on the floor behind him. “Oh, no,” I thought. “He tore something up again,” I continued, out loud.

Well, he didn’t tear anything up. Except our nostrils.

When I opened the door, that stench came at me with the force of a 9.2 megaton bomb. Deities were invoked as I turned on the light, and saw that the shapes I made out in the dark were, in fact, poop. Lots of it. I tiptoed around as I tried to check Genghis for poop. But he’s too fancy for that. He was actually all, “Please, mummy, do take me away from the poop. It stinks!”

So I put him in the terrace to commence Operation Clean-Up (OCU). But then I realized that I couldn’t commence OCU because I had nothing to start it with. You see, we cleaned our apartment so we could leave most of our cleaning supplies at the new place so we can enable it for our impending arrival. We honestly didn’t account for a doggy doodoo episode. I called Damián and explained the scenario. The good man stopped at the pharmacy and picked up our weapons. Then he came home and armed himself.

We looked like this.

Lessons here? Don’t ever run out of cleaning products. Ever. Don’t underestimate your tiny bundle of furry love. They’ve got some terrifying things up their sleeves for you when you least expect them. And never, ever underestimate the smell of poo. I thought I could handle it, but I ran away gagging upon commencing clean-up.

We are just so thankful we don’t have carpets. Nor will we ever, after this episode. Word.

PS. The mop broke at one point. :(

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Hi, I'm cute.


At least, that's what it looks like he's saying, right?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Everything's going to the dogs.

Ever since I can remember, I would ask my parents for a dog. Everyday. Every single day! I'd beg, plead, promise to feed, bathe, and brush the dog (or dogs, I wasn't going to reject multiple canines). All this to no avail. The parental units didn't want to get dogs. Specially after the death of their beloved German Sheperd Savage, just a mere 6 months after I was born. They wanted to spare me the pain they went through when they lost him. So, no dogs were allowed. I had fish (one of them was suicidal: he kept jumping out of the fish tank until we weren't able to save him), chickens, and ducks. I had a cat for 2 weeks and then they found it another home.

However, I hadn't given up though. I still asked my parents for a dog everyday. Until I gave up. 13 years (well, not 13 years exactly....more like 10) of asking had taken their toll so I gave up. And then Chewy showed up.


He sneaked into my father's workplace and dad found him in the morning. Chewy (short for Chewbacca) has now been living with us for 14 years. He's an old grumpy butt, but we love his old grumpy butt. 2 years after that, this later lady arrived. Meet Maya.


She came to us during Hurricane Georges passing over Puerto Rico. At first, she would stand in front of our house and wait for us to go pet her. Then she would start sneaking in until she disappeared one day. My mother felt so bad that she swore to take care of her if she returned. And so Maya showed up and stayed home forever. With the exception of those occasional times she'd escape to chase chickens down the road. Yay!

We'd thought we were done with being dog adopted, but we were a couple short. One day at school, I saw this little one about to get run over and took her home. I fully meant to find her a place. I just didn't know (secretly wished it, though) that it would be mine. This is Patch.


Finally, one day, I got home and this little one was waiting by the door. You may know him! This little red devil is Genghis.


You may have noticed that I said dog adopted, not adopting dogs. I mean that. The dogs showed up and chose us as their family. We sort of had no say in the matter. We couldn't say no. Not that we really wanted to :) I mean, how could you wanted to dismiss them?



Give in to sleep.