Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Scariest Thing

It's my first night in Michigan. Tomorrow, college orientation starts. 2,000 miles from home. My brother David attends the law school around these parts, so I'm staying with him and my sister-in-law during orientation. I feel lonely, scared, and cannot believe that my new college is held in a former middle school. (Oh, why didn't I visit the college before I enrolled?) I just got in a fight with my boyfriend as a result of these elements, and I feel so low.

The August evening is slightly humid with a slow fog creeping over the ground. My heart is heavy while I walk across the quad back to David's apartment. I have almost reached the parking lot when I see a shadow behind the first row of cars. Just my imagination. I take a few cautious steps. David's apartment is right behind the parking lot, so I don't have too much farther to go. The bleary parking lot lamp shines down on me as I see a buffalo-plaid vest emerge from behind the row of parked cars, about twenty feet away from me. He's big. His stringy blonde hair covers his eyes, but I know he is looking at me, waiting for me. I wonder how long he has been watching. I decide to play it cool and I look straight into his face. "Hi," I murmur.

At my single word, the man lunges and marches powerfully toward me. I'm going to die. I'm going to be caught. He's going to do terrible things to me. I turn and sprint the other way, screaming, screaming, screaming. I screech so loud that I can feel my throat tear. My body surges with adrenaline; I feel short of breath just remembering and writing it down. I have never run so fast in my life, nor have I been so scared before or since.

I feel like I've been running for ages (when in reality it has only been a few seconds) before I hear my name being called. "Louise, Louise!" My mind begins to slow down, but my feet go just as quickly. "Louise, it's me!" The man is my brother. The realization spreads over me and I collapse on the grass, shivering and crying with no tears. David pulls off the wig and runs to me, half-laughing yet utterly ashamed and worried. He crashes beside me and puts his arms around me, trying to calm my shaking. "You did the right thing!" David says, apparently trying to cheer me up. "That is exactly what you should have done!"

My right eye twitched for a few days after the incident, but I am over it now. We rehash the story about every six months and it's become a tale I enjoying recounting to family and friends. I love my brother and I share his love for pranks, but I don't think he will ever try that one again. I have never been so afraid in my life. So, did I scare ya?!? Have a happy and safe Halloween!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Too Casual Friday

Coat: Gap, Christmas gift from Darin (pre-marriage!)
Headband- Forever 21
T-shirt: Shade Clothing
Top: Borrowed from Suze
Jeans: Gap
Wedges: BC Footwear
I have always liked dirty mudpuddles. They remind me of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Mmmm... mudpuddles.

These Gap jeans are my favorite! They are extremely comfortable, and the rips are getting bigger and bigger. Soon they'll be underwear! Ahem... Make sure to check out Suze from Miss Vinyl Ahoy! She is wearing a skirt of mine today. It looks better on her, but don't you tell her I said that.

Have a wonderful Halloween weekend, everyone. I will be attending a party tomorrow night, and possibly watching some Hitchcock favorites over the weekend. Happy Halloween! I'll be back this weekend with a recipe and a story... the scariest thing that ever happened to me. Stay tuned...

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Polka on a Bicycle

Beanie: thrifted (is that gross?)
Cardigan: Target
Glasses: Calvin Klein
Necklace: American Eagle
Dress: Gap
Tights: Courtesy of We Love Colors
Sandals: Dolce Vita 'Pela'
Bike: Electra, gift from Gap
Meet Petunia! She's a one-speed Electra with argyle fenders and an orange/pink/red leather seat. I love her. A couple years ago, Gap had her in the back room as a part of an advertising campaign that we never did. (Oh, Gap.) She was so sad just sitting there all alone with her handlebars on backwards-- I had to have her. My wonderful boss must have known this, because she just gave Petunia to me after the holidays! Darin fixed the handlebars and Petunia and I have been pals ever since. I ride her to work (almost) every morning, helmetless, so I need to purchase a red helmet pretty soon. My mom is probably reading this and having a conniption.

Did you notice that I didn't retire the Dolce Vitas like I said was going to? I just had to get one more wear out of them. Oh, and I had to share my song of the day. I've been listening to this song on repeat for a good while now. So good. Press play, you won't regret it. I think the Oregon rain may be getting to me.



Have a beautiful day!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Shoes of the Future!

Cowl scarf: gift from Brooke Ann
Blazer: Thrifted
Grey tee: Gap
Cami: Shade Clothing
Boyfriend jeans: Gap
Wedges: Dolce Vita 'Pela'
Socks: Sock Dreams
I bought these wedges on a whim... they were so outrageously on sale, I could not resist! I am not the biggest fan of silver, but I really think these babies will add some edge to my old-fashioned ways. Sometimes it is good to get out of that comfort zone, don't you agree? I'll probably retire them once it gets rainy, but it was fun to try them with a fall ensemble. Thanks for the inspiration, Sal!

I dressed for comfort today, as we had to move a bunch of furniture at work for an event. I know it's not the most 'flattering' ensemble, but wouldn't that be boring to always look your thinnest? When I got home, I simply swapped my Pumas for the sandals of the future and grabbed my cozy blazer. See? Fashion is easy. And should always be taken seriously.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Romping

80s romper: Thrifted
Red leather gloves: Gap
Cardigan: Gap
Charcoal tights: TJ Maxx
Boater Hat: Forever 21
T-Strap shoes: Seychelles "Duchess"
It must have been windier than I thought-- look how I am leaning to my left in every photo! I am left-handed... and left-brained... and I have two left feet. Perhaps that has something to do with it!

I purchased this romper from the Goodwill in early summer. I was nervous to wear it because I had heard from so many people, friends and bloggers alike, that curvy girls should not wear rompers. To that I say, "Faugh!" Who says what is flattering? Who makes these silly fashion rules? This blog has helped me gain so much confidence in my sartorial choices and my overall heart. To my readers, I say a huge "Thank you." I know that my choices aren't necessarily what you would choose for yourself, and isn't that what fashion is about? Thank you for visiting me everyday and just accepting me for who I am... or at least for what I wear.

XOXO,
Louise

Girl Night Out

On Saturday I attended the annual G.K. Chesterton Steak and Wine dinner with my parents. You guys know by now what a dork I am for some G.K, so it's senseless to go on and on about the wonderful time I had! I only wish that Darin could have sat with me, but he was working the dinner. I look forward to the food all year, especially the salad- it has this incredible cilantro & garlic based dressing... amazing.
Dress: Tucker for Target
Necklace: Forever 21
Tights: c/o We Love Colors in Rubine
Shoes: Nine West 'Kimball'
Anyone else despise those loopy hanger ties in your dresses?
Way to ruin a rare decent picture, loopy thing!Aah, that's better.
The actor who plays him on television (John "Chuck" Chalberg) made an appearance! What a resemblance, no? I had to include him in this post because of his marvelous outfit. Whatever happened to man-capes? I mean, seriously. Check out that three-piece tweed suit!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Art of Craigslisting

The best things I own have been previously loved. I acquire them from the antique expo, Etsy, garage sales, friends, even the side of the road. One of my very favorite venues is Craigslist. It's not just for old cars and casual encounters, folks! I want to share my top tips exclusively with Coffee & a Cardigan readers.

* Don't limit yourself... Make sure to not only search your city, but the cities around you as well. How far are you willing to drive for that vintage dress?

* ...but limit your key words. When searching, make it short and sweet. Simply type in "Boot 8" as opposed to "Vintage lace-up riding boots size 8.5". You will have to comb through more results, but your chances of scoring are much higher.
80s Frye boots: $10 and a stone's throw away

* Be diligent. When I was on the prowl for some Frye boots last year, I searched Craigslist twice a day by simply searching "Frye." It sounds time-consuming, but it only took about sixty seconds to realize if I had a lead or not. As a result, I found two brand-new brown and black pairs of the Frye Harness for $20 each. I called the number, drove 1.5 hours to the coast the next morning with Rowena, and made a day of it at the beach after I picked up the boots.

* Be safe. Directly after committing to a time with the boots' seller, I Google-mapped the location (her place of business) and selected the 'street view' option. This way, you can actually see what kind of neighborhood the location is at and assess the safety of the situation. Tell someone where you are going. Take your cellphone. If possible, keep it public. Meet at a Starbucks. Bring your boyfriend. Simply mention to the seller you are bringing a man, even if you aren't.
Frye Harness boots, $20 and a drive to the beach
(The black pair does not get a lot of wear because the leather is so new and stiff.)

* Act quickly. Darin is not the best Craigslister. Not impulsive in the least, he needs to think for a while before making a call or even emailing. I, on the other hand, am so impetuous that I've ended up with things I don't like or need. Try to find a balance. Craigslist-hunting requires a bit of an extemporaneous mentality, but be responsible.
Antique vanity, $75.
Loaded in the truck by my kind brother and generous husband.
Desk, $10. I painted it robin's egg blue.

I cannot stress "Be Safe" enough. Don't take chances! If you don't feel right about it, don't do it.

A few months ago, I listed some brand new red pumps that just didn't fit me. A man wanted to buy them; I didn't ask questions. However, his name did not remotely match the name on his email address. Warning 1. His emails to me were riddled with links and advertisements. Warning 2. He insisted I meet him in a remote K-Mart parking lot twenty minutes away. Warning 3, 4, 5. Needless to say, I told him the deal was off.

I've gotten several great items from Craigslist, but I just listed my favorites. Perhaps I will post more sometime if you are interested.

What do you think about Craigslist? Any bad experiences? Best thing you acquired?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Garden Party

My new blog-friend Suze from Miss Vinyl Ahoy and I are doing a clothing swap! She hasn't received her package of goodies yet, so I was planning to wait for her, but the prospect of wearing new-to-me clothes was too tempting. Consider this a little preview of more experimental remixes! Suze sent me this H&M top and I put it on right away; flutter sleeves and red floral are a couple of my weaknesses. The flowiness of the top demanded some skinny jeans. I also added red lips and red shoes to the mix to bring out the red in the mostly-pastel shirt.
Top: H&M via swap with Suze
Jeans: Gap 'Forever Skinny'
Shoes: Vintage Remix
Necklace: Forever 21
Lipstick: MAC 'Russian Red'
Oh, and you must meet my mom's kitten, Chester! It's short for Chesterton, one of our family's favorite writers. Check out that orange tail!
Isn't he darling? He looks a lot like Milton, doesn't he? I promise you won't see my Who-inspired topknot for a while! My head is starting to hurt and my bangs miss my forehead. They're out to play today!

These photos were taken in my parents' backyard. We made dinner for them to thank them for Rowena-care while Darin and I had food-poisoning earlier in the week. After roast chicken, broccoli, and my famous macaroni-and-cheese, we sat around the computer and listened to Jimmy Reed and my dad lecture about the evils of white-man-singing-blues. It was awesome.

Off to work! TGIF, baby.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Working Girl (not that kind)

Peter Pan collared shirt: Tulle Clothing
Black dress: Gap
Tights: I don't know, but they're too sheer. Buh-bye.
Booties: Seychelles
Bag: Dooney & Bourke, thrifted
I had so much fun at my first day on the job! The few people that I work with are fantastic, the work is busy but not stressed, and I really feel peaceful about my decision. The dress code is very business casual, so I will probably trade in my heels for my Pumas once in a while. My outfit today channeled the "First Day of School." I'm sure you can feel the vibe! I wanted to dress professionally but not too much... I have to ease my coworkers into colored tights and other personal style quirks of Louise! Mwa ha ha ha! They don't know what's comin.'

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Tie Neck & Chain Link

Tie-neck sweater: Tulle Clothing
Skirt: Gap
Tights: Hue
Boots: Frye via Craigslist

Wow, a different angle! I look short. Anyway, I had a wonderful date with myself today and I feel refreshed and ready for anything. I'm one of those people that need some alone time once in a while. It makes coming home so sweet. I hope you had a beautiful Tuesday!
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