Journalist. Mother. Bunny enthusiast. Pop culture junkie.

Journalist. Mother. Bunny enthusiast. Pop culture junkie.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Five film characters who turned my closet upside down

For decades, Hollywood has been the epitome of fashion.
Even I am not immune to the dazzling costumes and bizarre fashion trends sprouting from the silver screen.
I wore pleated skirts every day for a year in middle school because of Clueless. I dressed like Madonna from Desperately Seeking Susan. I own more Flash Dance-ish apparel than I probably should be admitting.

But there are five film characters who mean a lot more to me than simple imitation. These five characters have drastically given my closet a makeover in the past ten years. They have changed my sense of style. They have

Here they are:

Lisa Rowe (Girl, Interrupted)

"Razors pain you; Rivers are damp; Acids stain you; And drugs cause cramp. Guns aren't lawful; Nooses give; Gas smells awful; You might as well live."-Dorothy Parker

Angelina Jolie made being a sociopath ridiculously fabulous.
Her character Lisa Rowe steals almost every scene in the movie. Her addictive charm, blatant sexuality, and alarming disregard for other people make this movie entirely worth watching.

I first saw this movie when I was a senior in high school. I immediately went out and bought a coat very similar to the one above. It was my favorite coat and I wore it so much I had to throw it away during my sophomore year of college. It had become a rag.
Plus, Lisa Rowe inspired me to never brush my hair and I barely wore any make up for years because of this movie.
Ah, the days of not giving a damn what my face looked wonder I didn't take many pictures of myself from 19 to 21!

Edie Sedgwick, Factory Girl

"I think I'll quit my painting and, just make Edie a big star"-Andy Warhol

Oh, Edie. She has left a style legacy that can be seen in every fashionista today.
Part beatnik, part society girl, part Hollywood, and part crazy. All fabulous.
And Sienna Miller portrayed her flawlessly.
When I saw this movie a few years ago, I became hooked on Edie's style. The huge earrings. The sweater and leggings. The heavy eyeliner. I started incorporating all of these things into my every day look. I still put a little Edie on once in a while. She was so insane and yet so fun. She didn't follow trends, she started them.
She was All-American.

(The real Edie)

Marie Antoinette, Marie Antoinette

"Is your hair quite tall enough today?" -Emperor Joseph

She was the queen of fashion. She is one of the few style icons from history people can easily point to.
Ever since I was in middle school, I have had a chronic fascination with the fallen royal star. When the movie came out, I was beyond ecstatic. I'm not the biggest Kirsten Dunst fan. But even I have to admit she played Marie beautifully.
Of course, we all know the film isn't really about Dunst's acting chops. It's about the clothes.
And oh, were there clothes.
It is one of my biggest fantasies to play dress up with every single costume in that film.

The closest I have come to emulating Antoinette's style is through nightgowns. After the movie came out, I immediately went to Victoria's Secret and stocked up on long white flowing night gowns, just like the one Dunst wears in the film. They make me feel like a princess right before going to bed!

Andy Sachs, The Devil Wears Prada

"You sold your soul to the devil when you put on your first pair of Jimmy Choo's, I saw it."-Emily

Oh. My. God. I don't even know where to begin on this one. Almost every item in my closet is an ode to this amazing film. My coats. My sunglasses. My hats. My jewelry. This movie came out when I had just graduated college and was beginning my job at the newspaper. Everything clicked. Most of my work clothes are inspired by this movie.

I watch this film over and over again and STILL find new inspirations in every outfit.

Irene, Priceless

"But charm is more valuable than can resist beauty, but you can't resist charm."-Irene

I'm not going to lie. This movie makes me wish I had a flat chest. The slinky, low-cut dresses are so glamorous and chic. Yet, they would just look ridiculous on my hour-glass figure. (Believe me, I've tried them on).

Audrey Tautou makes Irene so painfully glamorous, so heart-warming in a heartless life.
I want Chanel. I want Prada. I want YSL. That is my lifestyle and I'm not willing to give it up. I can't even afford that lifestyle and it's mine! Just like Irene.
She is SO me and yet so not me because I'm not a gold-digger...yet.

And there you have it. My heart, my soul, and my fashion inspirations spilled on this post to share with the world.

What characters have turned your closet upside down?

Friday, August 28, 2009


First, I want to thank everyone for their comforting words regarding Lily's death. Your comments really meant a lot to me and helped me get through this hard time.

I am feeling better now (meaning I don't cry all the time anymore or have day-nightmares about the experience). I think my mother is getting better too. The bird lady we bought Lily from three years ago is raising more baby lovebirds right now and she told my mom she could have her pick of the litter after the birds are ready to be given away in a couple weeks. So, hopefully that will make things better for us.

I wanted to share my Portland trip with you guys. I did it journal style, because I always keep a travel journal when I venture out. So these are basically passages from it.

I hope you enjoy!


Our flight was supposed to leave at 3 p.m. but because of weather on the East coast, it got delayed until 8 p.m. Since we had already given our car to the rental company for storage, my parents and I were pretty much stuck in the airport for five hours with nothing to do.
To emphasize how crappy this is, I should tell you about our airport. We live in a city bigger than Portland, yet the airport is complete crap. It is divided into three separate buildings (with barely any transportation between). Two of the buildings are bustling with people and energy. One of the buildings isn't. Guess which building we were in.
To make time fly, my mom decided she was going to spend five hours the two small identical bookstores our building had. So she was going to basically look at the same magazines and luggage over and over again for five hours. Have fun.
I was even more irked to discover that my dad kept running into people he knew and he hung out with them, instead of hanging out with me.
So I sat alone for five hours and texted people who were to busy to text back and called people who didn't answer their phones.
It was pathetic.


My parents and I spent the morning at Portland State, where my dad got one of his Masters back in the 1960s. PSU has a really pretty campus and it was fun to walk around and see all my dad's old haunts (which now look completely different obviously). But the physics lab where he taught hadn't changed a bit, so he was comforted by that.

That afternoon we met up with my former coworker Michael, who quit his job at the newspaper one year ago to teach English in China. He is in Portland for the summer visiting his parents before going back to China this fall. It was great to see him again and catch up on old times.

Michael accompanied us to Multnomah Falls, a beautiful giant waterfall near Portland. And then we all went out for pizza.

That night my mom and I watched the Miss Universe pageant, while stuffing our faces with fudge.


My parents and I spent all day in downtown Portland, shopping and eating. I bought a really cute black dress at Forever 21 and a pretty beige cashmere sweater at a vintage store.
That afternoon, however, a fashion disaster occurred.
You see, I was in this vintage store when I spotted Juliette Lewis. I was a bit perturbed. I mean, what the hell is she doing in Portland? She noticed me staring at her, and to make up for it, I asked her if she worked there. She seemed a bit taken aback but assured me she didn't.
Ten minutes later, I was trying to try on a few dresses in the dressing room, which was about half the size of a bathtub. Outside, I could hear people coming up to Juliette and asking for her autograph. I freaked out because I was missing all the action and fell onto the floor, twisted in my dress. The result? I broke my new Kate Spade sandals, which I just bought a month ago. It was only the second time I had worn them. I'm not sure if they can be fixed. I was devastated.

I went back to the hotel that night and had three gin and tonics.


We spent the morning in Oregon City, looking at old houses and walking around town. It was unremarkable.

That afternoon, however, I helped my dad track down his old hippie buddies. The outlook was grim.
One of his friends committed suicide in '84. Another died from a drug overdose in '78. Another one left her husband and ran off to India in the early 70s. And his ex-girlfriend became a French professor at PSU and is now a lesbian. That left us with one remaining: his extreme hippie friend Hope, who he had met in yoga class. Hope had been a beautiful hippie girl with long wild blonde hair and radical ideals. For instance, when bar codes started being placed on grocery store items, Hope told my dad "scanners are going to take away jobs from Americans!" so she dragged my dad to literally every grocery store in town where they ripped bar codes off of every item. Crazy, right?

So when we headed over to her house for dinner, I was fully anticipating hippie chic.
Um, not so much.
Hope, it turns out, lives in a freaking MANSION. After college, when my dad had moved to Chicago, Hope met a wealthy older man who is now CEO of a Portland-based company.
She opened the door to her mansion wearing a cashmere sweater, nicely pressed slacks, and a single strand of pearls. I smelled Chanel.
We sat in her museum-like living room, while she laughed off her hippie lifestyle.
"I was so young and naive back then," she admitted, with a laugh. "Such a silly, silly girl."
My dad laughed with her and said similar things. He also became boring and normal after leaving school and becoming a physicist. He hasn't done yoga since the early 70s and he quit being a vegetarian back then too.
It was dismal. How can someone believe so strongly in ideas, only to have them evaporate without a care years later? How can someone lose their passion so swiftly? I had been prepared for a wise old hippie and all I got in return was a Stepford wife.
Hope then spent the next three hours over dinner telling us every detail about her gorgeous daughter Eloise (who is my age) and who is getting her PhD in biophysics and is also a professional ballerina in her spare time. Oh, and she's engaged.
I went back to the hotel and had four gin and tonics.


The ride home was uneventful, except my parents made me drink. Literally. My dad had five drink coupons to use up on this trip and after I refused, he made a scene.
"If you're not going to drink any alcohol on this flight, don't expect to come on trips with us again!" he roared. People looked over at our aisle with alarm.
I had three more gin and tonics.

I think I'm done with alcohol for a while.

And now I'm home and you know the rest.

Thanks for reading and I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

RIP Lily

I got back from Portland this evening and I was going to blog about my trip. But obviously life doesn't always turn out the way you plan it.

Tragedy struck my family this evening. Our beloved family pet died unexpectedly and words cannot describe how incredibly sad I am. I never knew it was possible to love a pet so much. It hurts very badly.

Her name was Lily and she was my family's love bird. We bought her as a baby a few years ago. This was not our first pet. We've had 14 rabbits and other birds (parakeets, finches, etc.) before, but we never got attached.

Lily was different. She was the smartest bird we have ever had. She had a huge personality and was almost like a dog. She sat with my parents at the dinner table and nibbled food off their plates and always tried to drink beer out of my mom's glass. (She loved beer). She knew who we were. The minute we would enter the house, she would start chirping and rush to the side of the cage where we were standing and hang on her perch upside down to make us laugh. She always demanded attention.

Most of her time was spent outside of the cage than inside. She loved to sit on our shoulders and walk up and down each staircase of the house. She always let us know what annoyed her. One time, I tried feeding her some bread she thought was disgusting so she jumped up on my shoulder and bit me on the ear.

For my parents, she was the center of their life. They talked about her constantly, played with her all the time, and if you didn't know any better, you would think she was their second kid. It always comforted me to know they had something like that in their life, since I'm not always around.

This evening, Lily was sitting on my mom's shoulder after we got back in from Portland. My mom was unpacking and not paying attention and accidentally slammed into a doorway. Lily smashed into the doorway too and fell to the ground. We think her neck broke. My mom held her and tried to comfort her while I tried to find the number for a vet. But it was too late. Lily passed away ten minutes later.

I am so devastated and my heart is breaking right now. I will never forget the look on Lily's face when we were holding her while she was dying. I could see the pain and she was so quiet. She was making soft little chirp noises, so different from her usual sound. It is the worst feeling in the world to be so helpless around someone you love when they need you the most. I wish there was something I could have done for her. I wish I could go back in time.

My mom feels worse than I do. She blames herself. But it wasn't her fault. It was an accident.

I just can't believe this has happened. I want it all to be a nightmare and to wake up tomorrow and find out Lily is okay.

But I can't and I won't.

I guess all I can do now is hope to stop crying.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Off to Oregon!

This afternoon my parents and I are heading to Portland for a almost a week, so it will be a while until my next post. My dad got one of his Masters degrees at Portland State University back in the '60s and this trip is basically for him to show off the campus and meet up with his old hippie college buddies. I'm also going to be visiting a friend there myself, which will be nice.

Portland is one of my favorite cities because it is so gorgeous and so green and so modern. Every time I'm out there, I feel motivated to go hiking or mountain climbing or bike-riding. And for a girl who wears dresses and heels just to go the grocery store, that is saying a LOT.

I'm leaving you with a few more outfits I wore this week. I have a really shitty digital camera, so I'm sorry the images came out poorly.

I hope everyone has a fab weekend and I look forward to reading your blogs when I get back!

Dress, Anthropologie; jacket, Ralph Lauren

Dress, Betsey Johnson; shoes, Jessica Simpson

Dress, Forever 21; scarf, no label (purchased at art festival); pin, vintage; purse, Kate Spade; shoes, DKNY

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Happy birthday, Chanel

“Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.”

-Coco Chanel

Today would have been Coco Chanel's birthday. I highly suggest everyone take out a little No. 5 or Chance and spritz some on before heading out the door. Take some time to remember the women who changed fashion forever.

If you want to learn more about her, I highly, highly suggest this book. "Chanel and her World" has some amazing photos of Coco and truly is the best biography on her around right now.

You will learn everything you need to know about fabulousness, trust me. ;)

Anyway, even though I was feeling down the past week, I managed to take some photos of the outfits I have worn in the past few days.

Let me know what you think. :)

Pink shirt, H&M; white tank top, Express; jean shorts, Express; flip flops, White House/Black Market; bracelet, Forever 21.

Green shirt, Express; skirt, Missouri Bluffs; sandals, Jimmy Choo.

Black shirt, Express; skirt, White House/Black Market; shoes, Jimmy Choo.

Shameless plug: My best friend and I started a fashion blog a little while ago. Our latest post is about Etro. You can check it out here.

Monday, August 17, 2009

State Fair

This weekend I went with my parents to the state fair. Since I am so poor, they took my attendance as a wedding anniversary present. Haha.

Since I live in a big midwestern state, the fair is a pretty big deal around here. That makes it more fun, I think, because everyone is enthusiastic. Plus, it's huge.

We mostly saw animals, rode tractors, watched pig races, looked at artwork, and ate.

Oh, how we ate.

I'm suffering from a junk food hangover again. Things I consumed: elk jerky, fried green tomatoes, honey ice cream, cinnamon rolls, chili dog, and gummy bears. I am now 200 pounds. (Okay, not really, but I feel like it).

I am sharing some pictures I took.


Friday, August 14, 2009

A bad week

I'm so sorry I've been absent from the blogging world these past few days. This week has been hell.

Ever since our giant lay offs from six months ago, I have been doing the job of four reporters and I think this week it finally caught up to me. Sigh.

On Wednesday, my work had a huge staff meeting downtown that told us the bad news (revenues for our newspaper are going down) and the good news (there are going to be no lay offs) and the bad news (every employee is getting a pay cut). It is so distressing, especially since I am one of the youngest reporters and I can barely pay my rent as it is now.

It has been so depressing. And then on Thursday, one of the reporters got his hands on a document that provides the salaries of every single employee and he shared it my section. There was a lot of blushing and giggling because as journalists we all make the equivalency of a bag of Doritos. But then the giggling turned into shock when we saw that our sports columnist (who writes one column a week) makes $500,000. Um, what the fuck. So here I am, working twelve hour days and weekends and freelancing to pay my measly rent on a one-bedroom and this GUY makes half a million...for what? Sitting on his couch on a Thursday afternoon, scratching himself, and popping out a sports column in two hours?

The injustice kills me.

Anyway, I could rant about that for hours, but I'll spare you.

Quick change of topic: My mom's birthday is today so at her party tonight I'm going to give her this fancy box of chocolates and note cards I recently won at an art gallery. But my parents' anniversary is this Sunday. I truly can't afford to buy anything for them, so was thinking I could make something...

Does anyone know what I could possibly make my parents for their anniversary (without looking like I'm five?). Or, does anyone know a very cheap gift I could get them (without looking tacky?). I'm torn.


I hope everyone else had a better week! xoxo

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A picture says a thousand words...

A while ago, Ela at Extra Dressing On The Side asked her followers to play this fun little photo game.

You do the following:

1. Open your photos folder and select the 6th folder.
2. Select the 6th photo in that folder.
3. Post that photo, along with the story behind it.

Since I am using my old laptop from college, I figured I would have a good chance of choosing a crazy drunk Jenny picture. Jello shots, anyone? Instead, I ended up with this depressing snapshot.

This photo was taken a few years ago at my aunt’s house near Chicago. We were having a family get-together for some reason—Birthday? Wedding? Death? Who knows. All I remember is that the house was filled with babies. A lot of my cousins are married with children, so there were babies everywhere. Babies crawling, babies laughing, babies screaming, and babies pooping.

Unfortunately, I ended up holding the pooping one. This was quite unfortunate because I’m not the biggest fan of babies. I don’t know how to hold them properly and I freak out when they cry and I just don’t understand why everyone goes so gaga over them. I think they’re super cute, but that’s as far as my affection goes. Well, I was holding one of my cousin’s babies to be polite and it pooped all over my sun dress. So my cousin’s husband lent me his bathrobe. I spent the rest of the day wearing nothing else. It was awkward.

What kills me the most about this photo is that I’m so thin it. Somehow over the past three years, I have turned into a marshmallow version of myself.

I’m so depressed about this fact I want to stuff my mouth with chocolate.

Anyway, I ended up spending the whole morning today looking at all my old photos and I found a bunch of me dressed up like a witch. I thought they were funny.


Saturday, August 8, 2009

Another crazy night...and then some.

I am having such a bizarre weekend.

On Friday, Kerrie and I headed to the art district to see her friend's gallery. Instead, we ended up downing two bottles of champagne beforehand and whisking through the gallery with brisk compliments before crashing on a nearby curb.

We passed the time by eating dessert. (Well, I had strawberries and Kerrie had Virginia Slims).

Right when I was in the beginning stage of not knowing what the hell was going on, she dragged me to this reggae/hip-hop concert nearby. And then she dragged me on stage. We were the only ones dancing on stage (in front of a crowd of over 200) for almost an hour. It is literally the first time I have danced in public since high school. And one of the band members gave me the lei he was wearing before we left. So sweet.

An hour later we came across some hip hop musicians freestyling in the middle of the street. They held a dance contest and Kerrie and I faced off against a dozen other girls. The prize was a pair of panties from a local boutique. I ended up winning the panties and Kerrie came in second. We really should have been tied though because we both got the same number of cheers from the crowd.

As we were leaving, two hippie animal rights activists cornered us and tried to get us to save police horses from animal cruelty. After a few seconds it became apparent the guys were just interested in us. It ended with Kerrie hula-hooping in the street with the bearded hippie while the clean-shaven one asked me to be the new mother to his six-year-old son. He then kept begging me to get coffee with him sometime and attend some party in the scary part of town later that night (because I obviously want to get shot).

How do I get myself into these situations?

Saturday, hungover and dealing with nasty allergies, I went to a water park with my parents. The chlorine did not soothe the blisters on my feet which I had gotten from dancing all night in uncomfortable sandals. I also ended up getting sun burnt all over my face, chest, back, and arms. So, along with my allergies, I was pretty much a sneezing lobster all day long. Oh, and I spent most of my time at the water park on my cell because of a work emergency.

It was hell. I still feel like crap.

I'm hoping the rest of my weekend will be better. I just want some time to relax and recuperate before I go back to work on Monday.

I hope everyone else had an interesting weekend too. :)