OUTFIT GIF: Spots for Spring

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Twenty-five year old ladies of the world: Do you have an incredible mama who understands your personal style on a deep, personal, almost freakishly accurate level? And does that mama snap things up for you during shopping trips and then send it to you in packages along with cleaning products and dish sponges she knows are really expensive in NYC? 

If not, sorry. But over here, I’ve got 99 (billionjillion) reasons to love my mom, and her sending me the best just-because packages ever is one of them.

When I unfurled this polka-dotted blouse from its package at work today, after receiving a particularly hurtful bout of bad feedback from a client, the perfect colors and gently rounded collar made my heart sing and my soul float. I pictured it with the flippy floral mini I scooped up on store credit over the weekend, and truly, I was whole again. Have you heard about that painfully stupid “Happify" app that was released recently?* Yeah, forget about that nonsense,  get yourself some spring prints instead, and call your mom. 

All that’s missing from this look is the warm weather in which I can finally permit myself to wear it. I haven’t done a bare leg yet in 2014, believe it or not. It just still doesn’t feel like the right time But when I do, this is what you can expect to see from mid-thigh on up. 

* h/t Devon

Blouse, Ann Taylor LOFT, gift from mom. Skirt, Forever21, $16. Necklace, Forever21, $5. Watch, Michael Kors like, 100 seasons ago, $250.

Tell me tell me tell me!

I’m baaaaack. I was gone too long and it sucked. Bad blog mom. These days, I’m gonna try to fit in at least two posts/week no matter what! You stuck with me through my absence, now let me know what you’d like to see in an upcoming post. 

A Hungry Girl’s Guide to Got-Home-Late Dinners

Hello! Bonjour! Greetings from a young woman who has worked late approximately 12/15ths of the past three weeks of work! Few things depress me as much as cooking dinner on a weeknight, especially if I don’t get home till 8 or 9. An 11-12 hour workday? Slicing vegetables? Defrosting proteins? Cooking pasta? Eating it without even tasting it (which is prob ok because I don’t cook great tasting things)? Washing all the dishes afterward and tidying up the kitchen?

That’s a one-way ticket to PISSY-MAD-GIRL TOWN.

But I have a secret, and the secret is soppressata and 15-500 consecutive episodes of Flip or Flop on HGTV. I make sure I have lunch covered for the next day (usually by forcing myself to meal-prep on Sunday afternoons), then settle in with a tasty antipasto spread POR UNA. Behold my salty edible posse:

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It’s tasty, diverse, comforting, actually pretty fancy, and relatively cheap. Oh and plus, not that this matters to me or makes me feel like a cool New Yorker or legitimizes basically every food choice I’ve made since I first stuffed a wad of Wonder Bread into my face at age 3, but Bon Appetit just covered the meat-cheese-baguette spread in their April 2014 Have a Better Desk Lunch feature. TURNT ON? Here’s how to make my favorite dinner for yourself:

1. Get meated: I am a lover of all things salty. I am the kind of person who, at the sushi place, when everyone’s ordering mochi, casually requests a California roll for dessert. Listen, I’ll be dead by 30. And when they perform the autopsy, they’ll find logs of artisanal salumi strung up in my ribcage to dry. I dig a cured meat. It is so satisfying—the texture, the bite, the rush of flavors, the ampules of fat bursting in your mouth, omg, make it a lipgloss flavor like yesterday, Clinique. I opt for hot soppressata from Citterio, because it is the cheapest at the Fairway Market near my office and I feel not-terrible spending $7 on it after a particularly long workday. Also great but not for the dainty of tastes: Boar’s Head Peppered Salami. Such grit, so taste.

2. Cheese yourself: Duh, no brainer, obvi wifey, tap that Cracker Barrel X-tra sharp cheddar like you somebody. Do you like weird goaty stuff? Fine, do you, I think it tastes like death, but then, I’d worship at the First Universal Church of Land-o-Lakes Yellow American if I could. 

3. Bread-up: Crackers are whatever. If you live in a food desert and only have a bodega handy, get crackers. But a fresh crusty baguette can elevate your mood like a 50mg tablet of whatever your beta blocker of choice is. They aren’t expensive and get better with age, and are just so satisfying to rip apart like an elegant caveperson. Or, for a special treat, hold baguette over head and pull apart into two pieces so the cornmeal and crust rains down upon you and you feel like the Life Bride you truly are.

4. Greenify: The salad element is of the utmost importance. It will ensure that your body digests any of this meal instead of just shutting down and going on strike because you treat it like it’s a sometimes-boo instead of a longtime girlfriend. I use bb arugula because it has this masochistic peppery appeal? Tossed with olive oil, tons of salt, tons of pepper, a sprinkle of parmesan and a squeeze of lemon and served in a modest bowl, it serves as the humble gatorade to the douche-food marathon you’re about to run.

5. Go condi-mental: My lubricant of choice is olive hummus, because, SALT! OIL!, but the simple ham-and-cheddar sammy at Bryant Park’s ‘Wichcraft taught me that butter also makes a fine compliment to cured meat and soft bread. Dip the baguette chunks in it, or spread it with a butter knife before you pop on a slice of meat and a chunk of cheese. There’s also grainy mustard, or you can whip up an “aioli” out of mayo and sriracha if you’re a teen and want to make this hip so your friends don’t cyberbully you for eating nerd food.

And that’s all. If life were a Cosmopolitan magazine or an episode of The Good Wife, you’d wash this all down with red wine. But since that stuff gives me an instant migraines, I opt for a light, crisp cerveza because my IPA phase is long gone and my last name is one letter off from being “Rodriguez.”

That’s all! That’s it! Deal with the health effects of guzzling 10 lbs of nitrates and cholesterol every day another time. Make it your children’s problem. Get a life insurance policy. Right now you’re 25 and it’s high time you Carpe DIY Salumi board! Ole, or whatever!

Dream Wardrobe for Dream Agency Life

Some people, when they find out I work in the creative department at an ad agency in NYC, ask me how much like Mad Men my life is. My stock response is a sardonic smile and some sad joke like, “Not at all—my hair and wardrobe never look that good and I don’t have my own office to cry in.”

For the most part, my office is super-casual, which is OK by me, because blazers make me look like a cubist-scarecrow-postman. There are some days though, when I really just want to look nice! And I find myself being like, woah, this is weird, but like, I kinda wish our office was formal so I could look fancy every day and maybe get a promotion based on looks. And on those days, I’ll wear, say, a sleek high-waisted mini with a collared blouse tucked in and black patent lace-ups, and there’s a girl who will come up to me and be like “OMG, why are you all dressed up!!!!???”

This weekend I spent [redacted, leave me alone] hours swirling around in a Forever21 fitting room in this sheath sending selfies to friends asking their opinions even though I knew I couldn’t buy it because our universe is a sad broken place and $30 is over-budget for a woman who works a full time professional job:

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Ugh, so cute on that bitch. She’s a professional babe for a living, though. Here’s what it looked like on a total Average Person, me:

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Ahhh, sweet, sweet stand-up collar, if only I was alive in an age where you’d be respected for what you truly are: a really nice serving platter for the wonderful dessert that is my FACE. If only you could be there to make me look regal and infallible in a time where my lack of civil rights rendered me a literal slave to the patriarchy. If only I could wear you today, in 2014, without being pegged as one of those Retro Girls who loves the cat-eye glasses and the gingham and the whatever. If only I was wearing you instead of this Gap Outlet sleeveless shell and too-small Uniqlo slacks.

Anyway, I left the dress behind, in the interest of financial responsibility (read: by the time I was shopping at Forever21 this weekend, I had already consumed and paid for a total of six bloody marys and my weekend allowance was totally tap’t) but I will think of it often. And will probably buy it in a week. And will probably spill bloody mary on it. Which would be ok because it’d be a total Peggy move.

The T-shirts on this Japanese Fast Fashion Wholesale Site are Just Crazy Enough to Be The Best

(Ignoring the past billion weeks of inactivity on this blog/pretending it didn’t happen/la dee daa meow meow)

Frankly I feel sad for people who don’t know that Japanese fast fashion websites exist. I feel sad for myself ages 0-23 because during those years I didn’t know they exist. The whole concept of life and living and crawling out of bed every morning to ride the subway with a ton of misogynists and work a grueling job for like, 11 hours straight to get paid not-a-million-bucks in exchange for original, organic creative output is completely allayed by the fact that Japanese fast fashion wholesale websites exist. Sourdough cheese sticks are great too.

On Japanese fast fashion websites, you can find a lot of truly adorable items, most of them faux-silk with girlish collars, most of them available in “onesize” (which = ?), many of them emblazoned with absolutely insane blips of mismatched English words and phrases that make my world go round. I mean really this is one of my favorite things in the cosmos, right after reality shows about house-flipping. Below are some of my favorite mysterious, thought-provoking, language-busting garment messages found a website called SammyDress. It helps if you read them like they’re ripped from the pages of the Tao te Ching and/or on the inside of a Dove chocolate foil wrapper.

1. Leopard Attitude Shirt, $9.59

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It’s that thing where you don’t really snap at someone that’s pissing you off? But you also don’t like, exude nice-and-chillness either? It’s like, when you jut your lower lip out in exasperation, and kind of, like, whole-head gesture at them while you roll your eyes, and you’re like, “Honestly just finish this fucking story about your nephew before I literally eat you and your entire social circle.”

2. Pugs Notdrigs Tee, $7.46

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Every day, more and more teen children fall victim to the dangerous allure of illicit notdrigs. Teens of America: choose pugs. Choose pugs. Pugs will love you and nurture your delicate psyche with their weird non-judgey marble eyes and ugly-cute flesh wrinkles, while notdrigs? Notdrigs will… do… whatever it is… they do… to young people. 

3. Coffee Cup Tee, $9.10

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Fashion adventurers, why stop at pattern mixing when you could mix a pattern with a common kitchen item and really shake up your street style? Try pairing this long-sleeved neon-leopard-printed Coffee Cup top with a pinstriped skirt that says Santoku Knife along the hem, your favorite Egg Separator-embroidered madras plaid blazer, and hey, fuck it, wear a traffic cone on your head and carry a hacksaw as a purse—nothing matters!!

4. WORID ABOUT FOUR SEVEN Tee, $9.11

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I too am WORID ABOUT FOUR SEVEN. FOUR SEVEN barely eats at lunch, often smells like cigarettes when she comes out of the girls’ bathroom, has barely contributed to our group project about the state bird, and didn’t wear a sports bra to gym class the day we were practicing cartwheels. FOUR SEVEN FOUR SEVEN I AM WORID ABOUT U PLS TEXT BAC

5. STOP KILLING WHALE tee, $5.74

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So many questions for the gifted bard that penned this extraordinary graphic tee. Like, did you forget a comma? Is this supposed to say, “STOP KILLING, WHALE,” and if so, do you know that killer whales actually aren’t all that deadly? And that they’re not even whales, they’re actually dolphins? And, if you didn’t forget a comma and you actually meant to say “STOP KILLING WHALES,” who actually is this directed at? Why didn’t you just throw that “s” in? You were so much closer to making sense than ol’ Worid About Four Seven up there. And why is this your highly specific flavor of advocacy? What about other people? What about giant pandas? What about white tigers? What’s so great about whales? Why is this on a t-shirt? Why are any of us here? Why anything? Why not nothing? I feel dead.

6. ????? Tee, $6.76

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So true! Wsnfjdfrankfurter, especially when sfjblaffriedravioliisms on Saturday qwertyuiochocolateCAKE ON THE BACK PORHCHCHCHCH? Harry houdini!

all i need in this life of sin / me n my boyfren

all i need in this life of sin / me n my boyfren

Best Email from Best Friend

laurenspendsmoney:

"every day when my mailman leaves and we say goodbye he ALWAYS SAYS ‘should be all right. what the heck.’

like what?
how is that your catchphrase? 
at what point do you say “should be all right. what the heck.” and think to yourself, yes, this is it. this is what i will say every day?”

Reviving this today bc we all need a little should be alright what the heck in our lives sometimes

Foam Party Skirt Appreciation Post

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I was doing my usual 4pm workday chi-aligning routine—popping barely unwrapped Dove chocolates and some dry-eyed unblinking browsing of cheap fast fashion websites while 5,000 different work-related gchats glimmered in the background—and I came across the most delightful curio: 

A so-called “Foam Party Skirt” for $35 at Necessary Clothing that looks a lot like those gathered-waist crepe minis I’ve been seeing everywhere that I can’t stop thinking about (I don’t know what attracts me to the way a paper-bag waist looks on a lady but I fuckin’ love it, like on a borderline sexual level. An a-line skirt that comes in tight across the tiniest part of the waist and then flares back out under the ribcage a little oh my lord someone get me my smelling salts). 

I also can’t stop thinking about how it’s called specifically a “Foam Party Skirt.” It says it’s made of cotton in the garment description (not that I’d be at all surprised/confused if it said it was made of 100% foam, because in this beautiful universe that is a complete, tantalizing possibility) so I guess here, “foam” is used as like, an illustrative adjective? The way there is a “Danger Zone” Romper and a “Space Cadet Bandage” Skirt (lol x2). In which case there’s some copywriter out there who, whilst, no doubt, sucking on a dick-shaped popsicle made of MD 20/20 in their lawn chair-cum-home office somewhere in Paramus, New Jersey, saw this skirt and said, “Why, this skirt shall be called “Foam Party!” Why not, why not? There must have been a Google search for “Closed-Cell Resin Celebration Jumper” and “Polybicarbonate  Lazy Day Private-Part Covering Unit,” and, upon finding both of these clothing names already licensed to Express, the writer must have just simply taken a shot in the dark and gone with “Foam Party Skirt.” Why not? Why not.

I don’t know what a Foam Party is, even, but I sure hope I’m invited to one before I turn 30. And I hope the Foam Party someday takes Congress. And I hope someone throws me a surprise Foam Party for my birthday this coming year, which means probably that my entire birthday goes largely forgotten except that someone halfheartedly tosses a balled-up one of these skirts onto my doorstep with a note that reads simply, “Here.” 

Is that photo shoot of Kate Upton boobing around in a zero-gravity simulator plane a Foam Party? Probably most definitely, yes. 

I love this skirt. I want to wear it with a metallic spray-painted baseball helmet, a utility vest and a dream. It’s my Foam Party and I’ll whatever if I whatever. 

Whoever named this skirt, thank you, thank you for your beautiful mind. Yes, I’m RSVPing. I’m here. I’m outside the door. I’ve got $35 and a zillion charmeuse blouses to shove into the waistband of this thing. Is this where I go for the Foam Party?

In Which I Take a Break from Dressing Myself and Try Dressing an Apartment Instead

I’m not gonna do that bloggery thing where i’m like “sorry for my absence, guys, I’ve been so busy traveling across many Asian nations sampling local fare, shopping for new condos in desirable metropolitan neighborhoods, attending various fashion weeks, getting engaged and married, having 100 babies and working working working just totally hustling!” Because tbh—yes, I moved into a new place, yes, work has been busy, but also, mostly, I’ve been lazy, watching TV because I now have cable, and feeling general uninspired and malaise-y as this frigid winter crawls on and on and on like and endless snails’-pace flow of post-nasal drip.

What have I actually accomplished in my leave? I’ve gone to fuckin’ cute-ass apartment-envy toon-town with my Joe, that’s what! NSFW to follow, that is, if your work forbids cozy abodes that reek of love and IKEA an hand-me-downs!

The bones were there already—because we hit the fuckin’ jackpot with our new place and its renovated kitchenette, original clawfoot tub, stained glass-accented windows, cool SLIDE-OPEN WALL THAT DOUBLES AS A BEDROOM DOOR, and small “office” that we decided to dedicate to a life of walk-in-closetship. We spent a nauseating amount of money at target and ikea, which is so not ME (read: i never have nauseating amounts of money to begin with?) but it was 1) worth it because I haven’t felt this at-home in a home I’ve had since i lived with my parents and 2) good to get all the spend out of the way in the beginning, so now it’s over and done and I can focus on little fun things like, fuckin, trefoil-printed coasters. 

Anyway—highlights:

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At the risk of sounding like the narrator of a Canadian-based house hunting show, I have to say our apartment just has so much character, which is not totally uncommon in Brooklyn, but USUALLY comes at the expense of modern updates. Our place has both. The fireplace, prescribing to that golden rule of NYC lodging that ALL FIREPLACES MUST NEVER EVER BE FUNCTIONAL AT ALL, isn’t functional at all. So we shoved Joe’s little flatscreen into the fire part, and I went buckwild on the mantle.

The Fernet-Branca tin was a gift from a bartender friend, the flowers are plastic placeholders for the real flowers I keep forgetting to buy, and I solved the “are photographs from our real life tacky or endearing?” by blending in Joe’s and my favorite family pics with these letterpress postcards I got at IKEA years ago. Candles, for the first time in like, 7 years of my life, are used only for decoration and ambiance, rather than to mask an ever-present atmospheric haze of mad dank weed. The horse poster was only $12 at IKEA but I know will look way more luxe when framed and hung properly. 

Finding good decor that isn’t too femme or masc is something I was kind of stressed about. I didn’t want Joe to feel like he was living inside a tampon garden, but I also wanted to flex the design muscle I’ve been pumping full of juice since I watched my first episode of Trading Spaces at age, like, 10. Horse print was the first thing we both were like ~yes!!~ and every time I look at it, I feel inspired to find more good-lookin’ stuff that toes the line between gally and boy-ey.

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Another first for me—a room where the bed is the centerpiece, not smooshed against a corner in an effort to max-out every possible unused square inch of hang-out floorspace. Now we have a living room that is OURS, so the bedroom can be for the bed, and a few dressers. Symmetry is mine! The quilt was a housewarming gift from my mom, and I think that, like the horse poster, it’s stylish and unique without being ultra-girly (although Joe shocked me and earned like 10 bonus love points when he said he’d be cool with a paisley print here and there). 

Quilts are flatter than comforters and duvets—an observation that you don’t think will be that noticeable until it, like, is. And I’m someone who’s all about over-the-top texturey fluff-ness when it comes to beds. To add some dimension to the bed in where the quilt FELL FLAT GET IT, I’m mainlining throw pillows in competing patterns. This is another way I’ve reached a compromise between feminine and masculine design—for every flowery pillow, there’s a BOAT ONE.

The Ladies Home Journal print is actually the cover of a 1956 issue I scored at an antiques market in Maine over the holidays. I bought two for $5 each, sliced off the covers and framed ‘em in $15 Home Goods frames. This one fell off the wall and its frame broke, so it’s posing here for now. My plan is to scour etsy or whatever for some mid-century dude magazine covers, and do something collage-y on a living room wall.

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Our dining corner is moonlighting as a bookshelf for now as we 1) lock down a new bookshelf since we ~couldn’t carry home the one we wanted from IKEA~ and since we ~don’t have dining chairs~. The photos are Joe’s. They’re of Naperville, Illinois, which is important to him for I don’t know why, but I love they way they vibe with our old-timey-witch-doctor-sketches-of-flora-and-fauna curtain panels. The table looks like it has all this rubbed-off-white vintage charm but surprise, it’s just filthy and was very poorly spray-painted by URZ TRULY in 2011. Someday soon, I’d like to have four mismatched chairs around this sucker, and I’d like to re-paint it, and I’d like to eat real food at it. For now, it’s Seamlessing tikka masala on the couch, and tossing all my whatevers on the half-table.

Not a terrible life.