Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Barely There

Another work day, another outfit. Actually, this outfit stressed me out a bit. I love this dress, but it's too...proper? Prim? Charlotte? for me, so I always try to funk it up. It has a bow in front, which I covered with the belt. Once, I wore this dress and someone said that I looked so feminine. While flattered, I pondered if it was a back-handed compliment. Feminine? Did I look like a frog the other days? Besides, what kind of way is that to compliment a woman? What if I don't want to be feminine? What if I just wanted to look nice, and there you go, assigning gender roles on me?

Sorry. Phew. Got a bit caught there for a moment. I'm just...sort of sensitive about these things, as I don't like stereotypes. On to the outfit.

Like I said, I love this dress. Love the print, love the gray, love the fit. The fit is great. I wore this to attend a work conference. Since the dress is sleeveless, and I felt too exposed in a corporate conference, I opted for a blazer. I wanted to wrap the belt around the blazer, but after the conference lunch, it was simply impossible. Too much yummy food!

As for the barely there, see my expression in the picture. Barely standing up, crappy posture. Nothing further with the witness, I declare. And, yes, this was another thrifty outfit. Most expensive item was the dress, bought for $12 something, Target online clearance. I'll let you wonder about the prices of everything else. ;)

Blazer: United Colors of Benetton, Salvation Army
Pin: Salvation Army
Dress: Isaac Mizrahi for Target
Belt: Garage sale
Shoes: Nine West, Salvation Army

Monday, April 25, 2011

What a Slouch: A Lesson in Posture

After years of being hunched over like a stereotypical villain (Mr. Burns comes to mind), I decided to get my act together and stand up straight. My efforts in bettering my posture, and thus, alleviating the pain of my scoliosis, bad knee, and foot injury, are not evident in this picture.

Bad Stella.

Let this be a lesson to all on the importance of posture. See how I look? I look like I've shrunk, like I have a pooch (and I mean belly, not canine), and my shoulders are all hunched to the front. Not flattering at all. Stand up straight, flaunt what you've got. It's also part of a good workout! Above all, it indicates confidence. And, really, is there anything more flattering than being confident in yourself?

I have no excuse for my posture in this picture other than the fact that I was dead tired. Long day at work, still getting used to new schedule. Also, working out every day...my energy levels, oh, they aren't what they used to be!

On to the outfit...some time ago, my mom gave me several bags of her clothes to sort through and classify. Some we'll sale at a little garage sale we're planning, and others, many others, I chose to keep. I've shorted and taken in several, this dress being one of them. I have fond memories of my mom in these clothes. Plus, by wearing them, I'm reminded of her. It's funny. When you're younger, you want to be cool and grow up, and run away from your parents. Now, I treasure the time we spend together. And I miss my parents! Specially now that mom and I thrift together. And dad and I can have adult conversation. While I drink wine.

The dress is a little on the conservative side, that's why I decided to throw it in the mix of things. Some boots, leggings, and a striped top; we're back in business. I can feel my funky side flowing into my work wardrobe a bit. Since I started my new job, I've played it a little safe (after all, my m.o. for clothes -and life- is loud and proud) because I don't want to gauge anyone's eyes out while they're still getting to know me. But little by little,yes...I will bring my prints...I will bring my flowers. I will bring my mustard pleated vintage pants with patent high heeled oxfords. And I will rock.

Bring it!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Verde esperanza.

Here I am getting on the very important business of taking Genghis out. So he can do his business. I'm the fanciest dog walker in the neighborhood. I'm even fancier when I walk him in my work out/crafting gear, but, sorry folks. That level of fabulous is reserved for Damián and our neighborhood only. It would destroy the camera if I was photographed like that. Too many levels of awesome. ;)

I wore this outfit on my second day of work. The dress is a little big on me, but it's comfortable. Also, it's nothing a belt can't take care of. I'm kind of regretting the short cardigan, as it sort of made me look waistless. Oh well. You live and learn. The important thing is to try. Next time, I'll probably wear it with one of the many wrap around shrugs that I have. Those will accentuate my waist better. :)

Also, this is another thrifty outfit. All total, under $47.00.

Cardigan: Old Navy
Necklace: Gifted
Pin: My late maternal grandmother's
Dress & belt: Garage sale
Shoes: Nine West

Friday, April 22, 2011

Flowers and Smiles

My apologies for the lighting in this pic. Our house is odd, barely catches any sun (which, really, is good because it's nice and cool pretty much all day), and the best room to take pictures is our office upstairs. Which is an unmitigated mess, really. So, apologies. We'll get our acts together so I can take my pictures outside or inside the office with the pretty light.

By the way, those chew toys on the ground? Genghis, not me. Even though he has his little basket of toys and he knows the toys go in there. Oh well, it was late at night.

This outfit is a little old, but variants of it have been my uniform lately, pretty much. I'm addicted to cardigans, belts, and flowers. Oh, and boots, but boots are forever and ever my torrid, star-crossed affair. But, flowers, give me more flowers, give me ALL THE FLOWER PRINT THAT YOU CAN. My mother thinks this is hilarious, since when I was little, I hated everything stereotypically girlie. Damián says that all these years with him have softened my heart, and so I'm more open to things. Like flowers. Heh.

Whatever it is, give me more. More flowers that is!

Cardigan: Old Navy, super mega sale.
Top: PacSun, also super mega sale
Belt: Garage sale
Bracelet: Valentine's Day gift, Damián
Skirt: Fleamarket
Boots: Nine West, 6PM.com

PS. This entire outfit cost less than $40.00, including shipping for the boots. Yeah, you read right. The cardigan was $2.50, top was $4.99, belt was .25, skirt .10, and boots $29.99. Score!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I Thought This Was Business Formal...

I really need to get back in the swing of taking pictures of myself. What's that you say? Get Damián to take them? Sure, I try, but then he makes me laugh, and I get nervous. So I end up making goofy faces. Plus, Portal 2 is out, so he'll ignore me for that.

Forever alone!

Anyway...these shots are from February. February 22, to be exact. It was the official launch of my boyfriend's workplace. When I asked for the dress code, I was told formal. I figured this was appropriate, but when we arrived, many were wearing business suits or slightly casual dresses. Oh well. I was a guest, right? And it's better to be overdressed than underdressed, in my book. Besides, it's never too early in the day for brocade!

This dress is the first article of clothing I've bought outside thrifting in a bit of a while, really. Should explain why I was so apprehensive to fork over the money. But it really is lovely, ever since I saw it for the first time, I thought it was so pretty. Thankfully, it was discounted, or I'd had a heart attack. I mean, I complain when things are $9.99 at stores. Yeah, I'm a miser. But you have to save money somehow, no?

Dress: Don't recall brand, Marshalls
Shoes: Prada, eBay
Bracelet: Valentine's Day gift from D

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Moment of Cute

This is what happens when we try to clean his toys...

Why can't I have my ball?

Friday, April 15, 2011

Jentine's Jumpsuit.

Well, let's clear a few things up first. This jumpsuit doesn't belong to Jentine. Second, these aren't the most flattering pictures ever: some were taken after a few imported beers, and the sole daylight one was rushed since I was caught by my neighbors. Oh, and I was in a hurry to go thrifting. Nevertheless, I made a promise to Jentine to show her (and the world) my .10 jumpsuit. Yes, you read right. Ten cents. Oh, and it's silk.

I'd been wanting to wear it for a long time, but. Let's face it. Puerto Rico is not one of the most fashion forward countries in the world. If you try to wear pattern on pattern, somebody will call the cops on you because they think you're a loony. So, being that I don't want to go to jail, I kind of avoided wearing it. But it is so comfortable, and it feels so great in the sweltering heat. And when you're thrifting, you can try things on right over it, since it's not thick at all. It's fantastic. I can't wait to properly bust it out again and give it the love and attention it deserves.

But here it is, in somewhat glory. I promise to take better pictures of it when a) we're not imbibed b) we're not in a rush. But, as promised, jumpsuit.

(Yes, yes..I know I owe you the R.E.D. Valentino dress, Jentine...I can feel your judgement upon me!)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

I'm Unemployed, Now What? A Small List of Suggestions for Getting Over Losing Your Job

As I revealed in my last post, I lost my job this past January. It sucked, it made me sad, but what are you going to do? Live and learn, my friends. Preferably vicariously through my experience!

Plowing through the unemployment haze is hard, specially if your employers give you no warning whatsoever in regards to what's going to happen to you. Suddenly, you may find yourself jobless, and wondering what the hell are you going to do. How are you going to pay the bills? Will you find a job soon enough? First of all, calm down. Sit down, read this pointers, and hopefully, pick up a thing or two so you can survive this bump on the road as quickly and painlessly as possible.

-Let it all out. Mope. Cry. Scream. Dance. Play video games. Don't go shopping, though, you may regret the purchase later. Do anything within reason. I don't want you doing anything illegal, okay? Illegal = bad. So no running around naked down the street, screaming at your former employers (that's harassment!), or taking a bat to a car. No, no, no. Engage in healthy processing of your feelings. Some people feel confused, hurt, or betrayed when being let go. Others feel a sense of elation, since perhaps their workplace wasn't the healthiest or they were working in a field that was different from what they wanted to do. Whatever your feelings are, let them manifest, process them, and let go. Otherwise, you're going to spend your entire time dealing with it.

-Make a plan. Now that you're done marinating and dealing with everything, get to work. Take out a piece of paper, your computer, notebook, anything you prefer to write down and plan your upcoming free time. First, write a list of everything you'd like to do. You want to learn horse riding? Write it. Practice your cooking? Put pen to paper. Write down all those things you said you wanted to do if you had free time. Now, figure out a way to do them while still keeping up with your household and job-hunting obligations. (That is, if you want to get a job. If you're going to take a short hiatus, cool!) Determine how feasible your ideas are. If you're strapped for cash, then try to do the things that are cheapest, or try to get funding, if you can. But, most importantly, find a way to make this time of unemployment a productive and enjoyable one. I know it sounds like an oxymoron, but it can be!

-Look at your options. Now would also be the time to see how feasible things are. Maybe you want to go back to school? Write a book? Travel? Make sure that you analyze things from every possible angle to make sure they are realistic. Of course, if you really want to go back to school, write a book, travel the world, move to the wilderness and raise a pack of wolves, find a way. If you feel a burning desire to do anything, try your best. Just try not to get into too many loans...the economy is shite!

-Schedule. Okay, you've made a plan: you've picked out what you want to do, and you've figured out your obligations at home and for job-hunting/dream-pursuing. Now make a schedule. Having a schedule will give you discipline, and that way you'll have time for "work" (job-hunting, planning, house duties, errands) and "play" (doing all those things you wanted to do if you didn't have a job). It will also make it easier for when you transition back into the workforce, if you choose to do so.

-Scrimp & save. Maybe it sort of goes without saying, but try to save as much money as possible. Cut back on nights out, expensive toys, and unnecessary spending. I'm not saying that going out is strictly forbidden! Just try to find more economical yet equally enjoyable alternatives. Cook more. Not only will it be healthier, you'll save more money! If you can, walk to places, that way you'll save on gas and get a workout. Or use public transportation if possible. If you really need new clothes (hey, it happens!), try to visit the Salvation Army, Savers, Value Village, garage sales or outlets. Scour your closet and see if there's anything you can rework or have a friend with sewing skills help you out. Point is, there are always cheaper options.

-Make a little cash. Depending on your field, and what your hobbies are, you can still make a bit of money during this time of transition. Maybe you can work as an independent tutor or volunteer at local YMCAs, after-school programs or libraries. You can even trade! An example that has made its rounds on the internet: a graphic designer needed a haircut, but had no job. A hairdresser needed a new a sign. He proposed making the hairdresser a new sign in exchange for a haircut! And so he did. And on that note...

-Have a rainy day fund. I cannot stress this enough. Seriously. Have a rainy day fund. You never know when poop will hit the fan; you should have something to fall back on. Ideally, you should have saved up enough money to pay rent, food, bills, and other basic necessities for 6 months. Why 6 months? Do I really think you'll be unemployed that long? No, I hope not, but you never know. You also don't know if you or someone you love will have a medical emergency. If you have a pet, they have to be factored in to your basic needs too. Don't toss the poor darling simply because you're unemployed! Point is: save. Save now. Do it. Take at least 10 to 20% of each paycheck and route it directly to savings. After you're done paying your bills and having some mad money for any monthly emergency, stash some more. It may seem drastic, but we're living in financially perilous times.

-Consider everything. Take this time to think: are you doing what you love? Are you happy with your chosen career? It's never too late to change, start over, or seize opportunities. Take advantage of this time off to make sure you're doing something that not only puts food on the the table, but makes you feel fulfilled and happy.

-Take it easy. Have fun. I know it may obvious to some, or seem silly to others, but just don't take it so hard. It sucks, I know. I've been there. Don't let it get you down to the point were you can't do anything. Make peace with whatever feelings you have, and try to make the best of it. This is simply a setback on the path to an awesome future of which you will be the star.

There are many more things that can be said about being unemployed; these are just a few. Hopefully, I've given you some tips to deal with unemployment as best as possible. And I also hope that you never have to use them. :) (Except the save one. Really, save money!)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Vuelve el perro arrepentido...

And so, with my head hanging low, I return to the Internet. Or at least, to blogging. I never meant to be away this long from you, but I was! Thanks to everyone that kept popping by and leaving comments; I truly appreciate it.

As you all know, my 2010 ended on a pretty sour note. 2011 decided to not so start out so hot either. In retrospect, it was for the best, but back then I couldn’t see that. At the end of January, most of my friends and I lost our jobs. We were let go due to the economy. I can’t say we weren’t expecting something to happen since there was a lot of secret squirrel going on, but it hurt to not have been kept in the loop. But that’s that, and that’s all I’m going to say on the subject.

So I lost my job and I found myself having a slight crisis of confidence. That, combined with the grieving process I was already going through, kind of made the start of my year, well, really suck, pardon me. I did see the bright side: I now had time to pursue some personal projects, rest, and get myself together. I really wanted to blog, but my heart just wasn’t into it. I’d rather not put you guys through crappy blog content or outfits!

However, I did continually think of the blog and of possible content. So now, it’s just a question of getting a schedule together and keeping to it. ☺ I’ll also work on my jewelry website; the poor thing is abandoned! So if you’re interested, keep an eye out for that. There may also be a few tweaks here and there in the design, so…apologies for any hiccups we may go through.

And there’s good news too! I feel much better now (even though every once in a while, I’ll suddenly get a whiff of grandma’s perfume or hear a song that reminds me of my friend and feel very nostalgic). I got a job, and I finally had the courage to go to a store and present my jewelry and beading. They took it in, and I’ve already had some sales. Yay!

I’m glad to return, and I’m truly sorry for running off like that. Look at me, talking like I’m super important on the Internet. Stay tuned for more stuff!