Journalist. Mother. Bunny enthusiast. Pop culture junkie.

Journalist. Mother. Bunny enthusiast. Pop culture junkie.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A Day at the Lake

When I was in high school, I always sat by the window during class and it was torture. While the teacher was babbling on about some boring topic, I would stare out the window and wish I could be out in the world, living, rather than stuck in a stuffy old classroom. I used to see women walking on the sidewalk and I would long to jump out the window and join them. Or, I would see an airplane in the sky and jealousy would consume me. Those passengers were obviously going someplace a lot more fabulous. Even the faint sound of cars zooming down the busy street was enough to make my heart ache. Out there was a world filled with people who could do whatever they wanted all day—grab coffee, go for a walk, take a trip, etc.—while I was stuck with a bunch of suburban hooligans in a public high school.

Now, being 26 and out in the actual world, I still feel like I want to be on the other side of that window. But I am on the other side, right? That's why it feels so confusing.

It's this helpless feeling of always wanting to be somewhere else, always grasping for something that is just barely within my reach.

I felt that way during my job as a reporter. Our office was located next to railroad tracks and every time a train would whoosh by, I would fantasize about hopping it, just to see where it would take me. I always imagined it would take me somewhere magical, even though, in reality, it would probably just take me to Oklahoma or something.

I also feel that way when I'm driving down the highway. Sometimes it is so tempting to keep on going towards the sunset, instead of getting off at my exit. I want to drive into the distance because it always seems better than where I am. Everything does.

Today was no different.

Rian took the day off work and we went to the lake for a picnic lunch. It was so beautiful and so serene, I wanted to engulf myself in the natural beauty. I desperately wanted to be part of the scenery, rather than enjoying it. Does that make sense? Probably not...

Rian and I strolled by the lake, holding hands and smiling.

Older folks walking nearby gave us appreciative glances, pleased to see a young couple enjoying the afternoon sunshine.

But inside I was despondent and Rian was battling his own demons.

It wasn't a total illusion, however. I was happy in the moment. I was just simply overwhelmed with this unsettling feeling and a question that has been nagging me for years: When will I ever be satisfied with where I am?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Picasso & Braque

There is no better cure for the blues than hanging out with a best friend!

Last week Kerrie and I took advantage of the gorgeous spring weather and spent the afternoon at the local art museum.

After immersing ourselves in Rembrandts, Picassos, and Monets, we decided to have a cheesy photo shoot outside in the park.

I was almost blown away by the wind...

While Kerrie played Eve...

We blew kisses to the camera...well, at least I tried to...hahaha

I hid in the bushes...

While Kerrie touched a rhino's ass...

I used the water fountain...

And Kerrie used the doggy fountain...

After an exhausting afternoon of taking photos, we decided to head downtown for some real refreshments.

We capped off the day with bubble tea from our favorite cafe!

If I'm lucky, I will have more happy days like this one in the near future!

I hope you all had a lovely weekend. xoxoxo!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Have a Delicious Weekend!

My laptop is broken (again). Blogging has become almost impossible lately. But I wanted to quickly wish everyone a terrific weekend. xoxo

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Three Degrees of Spring

I'm not going to lie, I am still pretty depressed these days. I wish I had some cool or exciting news to share with you. But, alas, life is slowly trudging by, whether I'm happy or not.

On a slightly more positive note, I have some outfits to share!

For those of you who live in midwestern United States, you will know what I mean when I say the weather is schizophrenic. In winter, after a heinous blizzard, we could randomly have a 70 degree day. Or, we could even have a blizzard in early October. For fashionistas, it requires always keeping non-seasonal clothes on hand just in case.

This month was no exception. In one week, we went from 27 degrees to 45 degrees to 70 degrees.

Here are my outfits from these climates:

27 Degrees

Coat, Gap; gloves and tights, Kohls; shirt, Express; skirt, White House/Black Market; shoes, Gap.

This coat is one of my favorites for obvious reasons. I haven't shopped at the Gap since middle school, but when I saw this coat in the store window a year ago, I snatched it up immediately. Sometimes that store can have some really cute finds, I think. I bought the shoes during the same shopping trip. It was an exciting day at the Gap, haha.

I am a little disappointed with the photo of the shirt. It has black sequins on the shoulders which make it sparkle, which you cannot see here. The skirt is also way cuter in person. My friend Jonny convinced me to buy it because it reminded him of a Chanel suit.

45 Degrees

Coat, Forever 21; shirt, Express; skirt, Ralph Lauren

This is a terrible photo of me, as I am obviously pissed. My dad, who took the photo, said I looked like a chubby little leopard and he thought that was hilarious. I was not amused.

I actually got this coat on sale from F21 a couple months ago for only seven dollars! I love wearing it because it makes me feel glamorous. Is that lame?

Plus, you may notice I am wearing the same black flats with all three outfits. I have no good reason. I'm just fucking lazy.

70 Degrees

Dress, Andrea Behar; sunglasses; vintage

I wanted to show off this dress because I got it for THREE DOLLARS. Seriously. The Dillards store near my parents' house was going out of business and everything was up to 90 percent off. It was insane. I literally spent five hours in that store one Saturday in January scrounging for the best deals I could find. I went home with five giant bags that day and some gorgeous summer dresses and tops which I will post later this year. It was an amazing experience.

So, those were a few of my outfits this season. What are you wearing this spring? (Or fall, for my southern hemisphere friends)!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The last Hollywood movie star

I miss the old days of Hollywood glamour and mystique. The golden years, so to speak. I never lived through them (obviously) but I miss them.

There was something so impossibly fabulous about Hollywood in the first half of the century. Southern California was a dream world filled with movie star bungalows, palm trees, Rolls Royce convertibles, picturesque beaches amidst a coastline of mountains, and the sparkling Hollywood sign.

Those things might still be there today, but it’s different. It’s crowded. It’s crime-ridden. It’s filled with reality television wannabes desperate for a 15 minutes of fame they don’t deserve but receive anyways. It has lost its sparkle.

And I feel the same about the movie stars of today. While women like Nicole Kidman, Angelina Jolie, and Cameron Diaz are undoubtedly beautiful, they are nothing compared to the dazzling silver screen stars of the early 20th century.

Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, and Grace Kelly are icons. No one today comes close.

One of the last real movie stars who I absolutely adore is Elizabeth Taylor.

I recently saw her as Maggie in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Looking breathtakingly sexy in her silky slip, Elizabeth hisses to her on-screen husband, Paul Newman, “I’m not living with you. We occupy the same cage, that’s all!” Meeeyow! Liz’s ability to crack a whip with her lips is a talent that’s hard to match.

Whenever I see one of her old films—Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, in particular—I am always intrigued by the vulnerability and strength depicted in her acting. And every time she bats her legendary violet eyes, I feel myself sucked into a world where my own problems and disappointments don’t exist.

She might not have been a perfect person when it came to marriage and putting down the bottle, but when it came to being a movie star, La Liz knew exactly what she was doing.

Who is your favorite Hollywood star, past or present?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Jenny in Wonderland

Okay, I'm not really in Wonderland. More like Wonderhell these days.

But despite being fabulously unemployed and being tremendously confused and depressed about every aspect of my life, I am still managing to squeeze in a little fun.

Kerrie and I finally saw Alice in Wonderland this week.

We saw it in 3D. It was such a beautiful, cute, and quirky film. I enjoyed every minute of it. It was definitely a delightful twist to the book.

After the movie Kerrie and I met Rian for sushi.

The food was good but the service was terrible. The restaurant, despite being busy all the time, is notorious for its bad service. But it is still considered one of the most decent sushi places in the area, so...haha.

It was nice to have a day of fun and relaxation after all the stress I have been facing.

Oh, and in case you were curious, here is what I wore:

sushi dress
dress, Urban Outfitters; jacket, Express; shoes, Gap; bag, Louis Vuitton

I hope you are all having a wonderful week! xoxo

Monday, March 15, 2010

I'm back!

First, I want to thank everyone for all the sweet comments and support during the past week. It really means a lot to me. Hugs to you all! I have the most fabulous bloggy friends in the world. :)

It was a sad but special trip.

My grandmother's funeral was simple, tasteful, and beautiful.

After the burial, my whole family got together at my aunt's house for food and memories. Despite the circumstances, it was nice to have my entire family together. I got to catch up with all my cousins and admire how cute their kids have gotten in the past year.

Here are some photos of me and a few of my cousins:

The granddaughters also got a chance to take home a few pieces of Grandma's favorite jewelry. It was mostly costume jewelry, but there were a lot of really adorable necklaces, rings, and bracelets to choose from.

I took home four necklaces, which can be seen in this horrible photo. Haha.

I am excited to wear these necklaces because it will be like carrying a piece of my grandmother with me wherever I go.

Now that I am back home, I am hoping that after such a tragedy, life will toss a few happy experiences my way...

It's going to take me a while to get back into the swing of things, so I apologize if you don't hear from me right away. By the end of this week, I should be back into my usual routine.

I hope you are all having a fantastic week. xoxo

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Until we meet again...

I am off to Illinois for a funeral.

Send me good vibes!

I will catch up with all of you on Monday! xoxo

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Lilies and Roses (RIP)

"Take care of yourself, Jennifer. I love you. Hopefully I will see you again someday after I go to my forever home."

Those were the last words my maternal grandmother said to me. She passed away Sunday evening. She was 88 years old.

I will forever be haunted by the image of her frail little body shifting uncomfortably and undecidedly on her makeshift bed in the living room of my uncle's house.

Eighty-eight years of fine lines and wrinkles caressed her body like a delicate, never-ending spiderweb. Her once shiny eyes were shadowed with anticipation for the end to come. Terrified of death and desperate to go, all at the same time. But the light didn't come quickly.

It broke my heart.

That is not how I want to remember her.

I want to remember her as the chubby bubbly grandma who laughed sweetly at my jokes and smiled serenely from her rocking chair.

I want to remember her sparkling eyes staring at me from a dusty black and white photograph discovered in the edges of an old photo album.

I came across the hidden treasure ten years ago when I was going through my mom's things in the attic.

I was instantly mesmerized by the beaming teenage girl sprawled in a field of light-colored flowers and weeds. It was 1937. Grandma was 16--the same age as me back then.

She was beautiful, vivacious, and bursting with youth. Her smile was familiar. It would be painted on the faces of her daughters, granddaughters, and great-granddaughters within the next seven decades.

More than a dozen of her lovely smiles are now sprinkled across the United States. Not a bad contribution to society.

I hesitantly handed that photograph back to my mother. It was a reality check for me, to see the girl within the elderly woman. Since then, it was always hard for me to swallow that my little ol' grandma had once been a bright-eyed doll. It was even harder for me to put the two together while seeing her curled up so helplessly, gaunt and pale, this past weekend.

Grandma was lucky enough to pass away surrounded by her family and provided with the best comfort money can't buy: love.

Somewhere in that place called heaven I hope she is finally peaceful again.

And every time I hear her name, I will remember that teenage girl lounging in the grass, smiling playfully, life dancing in her eyes.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Oscar Weekend

In the midst of an extremely bad week, I am off to Chicago for a family emergency.

Which means there is a good chance I will miss the Oscars. Family is far more important to me, so I am not too upset.

I thought, however, I would go ahead and do my Oscar post this year anyway.

One of my favorite aspects of the Academy Awards is the gowns...each year the red carpet is sprinkled with some of the most gorgeous fashion creations and some of the most horrific.

I thought I would share with you my top five favorite Oscar gowns from the past decade and also the ones which made me cringe.


And the Oscar goes to...

Kate Winslet, 2002

There is only one word for this Ben de Lisi gown: ADORABLE!

Sarah Jessica Parker, 2009

Last year, this gown took my breath away. I want to wear this Dior Couture gown! I want to be a fairy princess too! Sigh...

Julia Roberts, 2001

I will never forget this vintage Valentino gown. Ever. I will be 90 years old and still thinking about this dress.

Penelope Cruz, 2007

Penelope is one of the only actresses today who still has that ol' Hollywood glamour. She is mysterious, glamorous, and breathtakingly beautiful. Just like this Versace gown.

Halle Berry, 2002, Elie Saab

Halle made history in this Elie Saab dress. And this dress made history on her because it is STUNNING.

And now the worst...

Uma Thurman in Christian Lacroix, 2004

I adore Uma Thurman. She is so insanely fabulous and gorgeous and stylish. So, I can only imagine that she was simply double-tasking here by attending the Oscars but also auditioning for a Sound of Music remake at the same time. Any other reason for this outfit doesn't make sense.

Ziyi Zhang in Valentino, 2007

Would anyone like a slice of cake?

Tilda Swinton in Alber Elbaz for Lanvin, 2008

Before the Snuggie, there was the Trashbaggie...

Gwyneth Paltrow in Alexander McQueen, 2002

Something about this dress gives me the creeps. And not in the fabulous Tim Burton creepy kind of way. Just...creepy.

Whoopi Goldberg, 2009


I hope you all are having a wonderful weekend.