Changing more than just clothes

I originally wrote this as a guest post for my friend Kim’s blog last year but thought I’d revisit it here. What? It’s my intellectual property and I’ll do what I want with it! Ahem, excuse me. Anywho, I’ve made some edits since it’s been published but if you want to read the original post, check it out on here.

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I’m not sure how everyone else learned how to put together an outfit, whether it’s an ingrained sense of fashion or you just stick your hand into the dresser/closet and wear whatever you pull out (I’ve been guilty of this on several occasions), but this has been a long, long lesson for me to learn. I turned 30 last year and everyone knows the transitions that result from turning such a milestone age: the horror of realizing you’re no longer in your twenties. The agony of knowing you’re that much closer to this mythical “Hill” that people keep referencing as if it were some magical far off place somewhere in the ether (or New Jersey, whichever is furthest). The misery of knowing that you are now the MIDDLE AGED! ACCCK!

But once the excitement of my birthday died down and I had eaten the last of my cake, I took stock at where I was in life. I was officially 30. A grown up. I felt pretty grown up, but problem was, I wasn’t looking the part. I don’t look my age to begin with so dressing the part is probably the only way to keep from being asked which Barbies are the most popular with girls my age.

I was never a fashionable person. I have pictures to prove this, though, thankfully, there is no photographic evidence of my most cringe inducing outfit in memory. I’ll give you a hint: it involves a pair of striped jeans my mom made. For my older sister. That I stole and wore in junior high thinking I was hot stuff. Yeah. I quickly adopted an “uniform:” a t-shirt or sports jersey, jeans and a pair of Nikes. Every single day. Sometimes I would trade pieces out for a pair of overalls (yes, for real) and a sweater but everything was oversized and kind of shapeless. Oh, and most of it were boy’s clothes. Including the jeans. It’s probably no coincidence that I went through junior high, high school and most of college without a single date. Though I’m sure the glasses, braces, and general geekiness in high school played a role with that as well.

collage of clothes from high school

I don’t know why I refused to wear clothes that fit, or were even made for girls. But this refusal was so epic that my friends still talk about the day I showed up in a pair of women’s boot-cut jeans. This was back in 2001 (and one of them yelled out the window, “ARE YOU WEARING BOOT CUT JEANS?!!!”). So yeah, after having spent the majority of my life in this uniform, it was hard to break free from the pervasive thoughts of how I was supposed to dress. My jeans and t-shirts had become such an integral part of my personality that the thought of branching out struck fear into me, as if I would no longer be me if I willingly wore a dress just because I wanted to wear a dress. I had stopped myself many times before from purchasing an article of clothing because I thought it didn’t fit who I thought I was and it wasn’t until I was peering down into my thirties that I realized just how silly and limiting this thinking was. Clothes should reflect your personality; not define it. And so, with this new found revelation, I embarked on one of the most ambitious project of my life to date: updating my wardrobe.

 

dressy casual outfit

I’d like to dress like this. But maybe not the heels. Okay, maybe the heels if I were going out.

Sunny Yellow outfit

And like this. I can still wear jeans!

And so I have been slowly adding new pieces to my wardrobe: dresses, dressier shirts and sweaters, belts and even managed to find fitting jeans (when I put them on, I was shocked that they made me look like I have a butt. CAN I GET FIFTY-ELEVENTY PAIRS OF THESE?!). And while I’m far from being certifiably fashionable, I’m finding clothes that reflect my new outlook about myself and where I’m at right now and I’m feeling a lot better about myself. I’m also beginning to feel more confident in reaching past my comfort zone to try new things. Brightly patterned shoes? Why not! A slightly shorter dress than I would usually buy? Let’s try it on! Sure I may still get hung up every now and then on something that might not seem like “me” but I’ve learned to embrace those pieces and rock them anyway. I’ve found those seemingly out of character pieces have become my favorites and garner the most compliments. Sometimes it pays to take a risk.

So I’m excited to see how my wardrobe evolves with my new stage in life. Who wants to help and come shopping with me?

Though, one of the best things I’ve learned so far?

Best. Accessory. Ever.

 

Who wouldn’t want a koala around their neck?

Y’all know how much I love packaging. A good package almost always makes me want to buy whatever it is its covering. I’m the little kid who’s more interested in the box than the toy that came in it.

This time, however, I actually want what’s inside the package as well. It’s a win-win-win situation: awesome packaging + awesome product + happy me. I was looking through Lovely Package, a wonderful blog devoted to packaging that the bf introduced me to [and I subsequently spent HOURS looking through all the archives. I think I stopped somewhere around page 60].

This leads me to today’s “OMG I WANT!!” item of the day: Manymals by Markus Diebel.

First, the lovely packaging that charmed my heart. It looks like the packages my contact lens come in and inside the little compartments holds the animal charm and a chain and on the back, there are some facts about the animal you chose [the collection includes a dog, sloth, bat, koala, gorilla and snake]. The neat thing is the animals hang from the chain as they would from a vine or branch in the wild. Well, except for the dog. I mean, what kind of dog hangs from trees?

Note to self: DO NOT GOOGLE THAT.

Upon further clicking, I found more pictures of the loveliness that are the actual charms and I zeroed in on the one that I want: the Koala.

Isn’t it just the cutest thing? Oh how it makes my heart just skip a beat. I would totally take off my Block M charm for this beauty. If only it weren’t $280. You hear that? That’s the sound of my heart breaking.

Never would have thought I’d get so attached to a necklace.

The blogger’s new clothes

I have decided to do a bit of a career makeover.

No, I’m not planning on changing careers. I like what I do and where I work. What I am looking to change is my wardrobe.

Seems simple enough, yes, but as someone who needs convincing to spend money [when I’m not already in the mood to spend, spend, spend] but this is something that I need to do. I notice that I’ve been walking differently since buying my wedges, and not because I’m now technically walking on heels, but there’s a certain clip that I have now that wasn’t present when I was shuffling along in my flats. I know I can get cute flats too but let me establish myself in my wedges first.

But my main point is I need to invest in some new clothes. I really do. It would make getting ready in the morning a lot easier and I am getting tired of the shirts I do have. And maybe another pair of pants. I don’t wear skirts or dresses to work…I could, I just choose not to.

That said, I need shirts. Lots and lots of shirts, blouses, tops, sweaters; whatever you want to call them; I need them. That’s where most of my issues stem from in the mornings. Half the shirts I own I don’t really want to wear anymore and the other half I wear all the time. And there are some shirts in the latter category that are slowing making their way to the former and I cannot wear my large collection of t-shirts to work. And because I can’t wear my t-shirts and I already wore that nice shirt the day before and it’s too warm for a sweater, I stand there in front of my closet just as confused as ever.

That is why I hate weekday mornings. Plus, who wants to make such a heavy and pivotal decision mere moments after wiping the sleep from your eyes? And this is the decision that you’ll live with for the next 12 hours or so! That’s too much pressure too early in the morning.

What? Pick out what I want to wear the night before? Sure, if I wasn’t positive that I’d change my mind upon waking up [happens 8 times out of 10]. I usually decide what to wear according to the weather report [yup, because in the Bay Area there are 4 different climate zones. I kid you not] and I live and work in two different ones. So checking the weather is a must. And I’ve noticed a change in most of the reports overnight. Which is yet another reason why I wait until the morning.

You see the conundrum I’m facing. So obviously the solution is stocking my closet and dresser with new clothes.

Obviously.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year

I know, I abandoned you. I would say I was sorry but I’m pretty sure it will happen again. So I’ll spare you the slightly false apology. Please don’t hate me.

So lots of stuff has been bubbling and brewing and I’ll get to those once things really start getting together. But first off: my birthday!

Yup, only 11 days and a wake up left until my birthday. Which reminds me, I need to call Scandia’s confused self and try to reserve a group rate. Oh, so what is this year’s theme?

Talda’s 28th Birthday Mini Golf Invitational!

That’s right folks, we’re hitting the fake mini links and going golfing. It should be a lot of fun. And I’m hoping people get into it because I have a surprise up my sleeve. Of course I do.

But the bf was the inspiration for this year’s party. After playing mini golf with him last year, we drove by Golf Land in Milpitas and I thought it would be a fantastic place to stage a rematch, and thus an idea was born. Of course Scandia is nowhere near Golf Land or even Malibu Speedway in terms of course design but I didn’t want people having to truck it too far.

I’m excited though. I haven’t played mini golf since last year with the bf. I know it’ll be a lot of fun. We tend to be that kind of group. At the moment I think I’m more excited by the little surprise I’m working on. I just got word that it shipped the other day so I can’t wait for it to get delivered and check out the goods.

Enough talk on things I can’t reveal just yet [as if any of my friends read the blog. But just in case…]. Let’s discuss things I can reveal.

Things like my birthday wish list, perchance? Why, yes, why not?

So here are some things I’d like for my birthday. Oh, I know writing out a list at the tender age of almost 28 is kind of lame but come on, it’s fun!

1) The bf

I know he’s on every list every year but he’s a mainstay. I’ll always want him.

2) Parker Lewis Can’t Lose, season 1 DVD

I know! I literally JUST found out about it this morning! And now it’s occupying practically every available space in my brain.  Gentlemen, sychronize Swatches!

3) BeaterBlade

This little thing would be such a huge help when mixing up cake batter and frosting and whatever else I decide to make with my mixer.

5) Green Apple KitchenAid stand mixer

I actually don’t expect anyone to buy this for me. I still need to start my savings fun for this lovely thing. Sigh, I can’t wait to see that on my kitchen counter!

6) The Adventures of Pete & Pete on DVD

Apparently I have tons of time on my hands to just sit and watch old tv shows, but whatever. Considering I spent half of my econ class reliving episodes in my head, this is right up my alley

At the moment, it seems DVD series are the flavors of the month. That or some helpful items for a future apartment.

Consider this a peace offering. Now with pictures!

So you’re going to have to wait one more day for the Christmas gift bag reveal. I was planning on writing about it today [actually I wrote the post already!] only to find out that I didn’t upload those pictures yet and since that kind of post is no fun without pictures, we’ll just have to wait another day.

But I do have a post with pictures for you today. Behold, the gold shoes that I have looked up and down and between the couch cushions for. And the ones UPS refused to deliver for a second before finally handing them over because they enjoy making me get upset and frustrated and nearly frothy at the mouth.

shoes

Okay, not that last one but I wouldn’t put it past them that they’d love to see me all rabid like.

After all the online and real life searching, I happened upon this beauty from Nine West, the Jiopa. While they didn’t have a gold option, per se, the color that popped up that seemed closest was their “natural satin.” I still wasn’t sure but I thought even if the shoe didn’t turn out to be a gold color, I’d still get that shoe in another color because they were just that cute.

the pleats!
They even have the coveted pleats I wanted!

Thankfully I was able to walk by a Nine West store downtown and happened upon these shoes and was able to try them out. Thank goodness because I couldn’t even get my Frankenfoot into my regular size! So up a half size I went only to find that while they fit, they were just a bit too snug in said Frankenfoot and after a slight hesitation, asked for the next size up, which was a full size bigger than what I normally wear. Well wouldn’t you know it fit though just a bit long but still doable. Plus, it turned out that the natural satin was a goldish color that incidentally matches fairly well with the gold in my dress.

I ended up leaving empty handed since I could get a better price online than in the store. Which worked out even better since I was able to buy a wide shoe in the next size up from my original size, which fits like a dream.

Continue reading

When did I drive into the middle of a scary movie?

It’s the last week of classes! My final is this week and after spending an amusing couple of hours at a review session with the prof and practically the entire class yesterday, I’m feeling pretty okay with it. Especially for the part we don’t have to show our work. Yay for letting Excel do all the heavy lifting.

Also yay for the following school related items: 1] getting my 83 on my midterm bumped up to a 92! I haven’t scored that high on a math related test since junior high and that was because I copied off Amalia [the statute of limitations is SO over!] and the best part is this was all me! No copying off of anyone. Unless you count the book. Please don’t count the book, 2] I’m actually going to take two classes next quarter. After talking with a few of my classmates and the prof, I’m going to go ahead and take his next class along with my financial accounting. I’m feeling really confident about this decision plus I already appointed one of my classmates to help me with my financial accounting should I run into any troubles, and 3] I get to have one of my foundation classes waived! I was able to use my credits for the Legal Aspects of Sports course I took at Michigan in lieu of taking their Legal Aspects of Business. I’m really excited about that even though it still looks like I won’t be done with the program until the summer of 2011. But really, that’s not THAT far away. Plus that’s almost $3,000 I get to keep.

I did a little shopping this weekend. I had a 30% off coupon for the Nike retail stores and since I was planning on getting Tammy a pair of shoes for her birthday, what better day to go huh? It was meant to be actually since I was given that coupon on Thursday! I found a pair of shoes that I liked that I thought she’d like but then I really started liking them so I bought them for myself. They were also on sale for $40! And naturally since I got them for me, that meant I had to find another pair for her because we can’t have the same pair of shoes and that took forever but I kept circling around a certain pair so I bought those. And when I showed my mom she was concerned because they were white. Well…shoes are meant to get dirty! And I didn’t like the other ones that were darker [because I tried to find a new pair for myself]. But that’s what gift receipts are for!

And my Nine West shoes are perfect with my dress! I owe Inga pictures and I will get those up hopefully soon but when I got home I opened up that box so quick and wore them around the house the rest of the night. Yup, sitting on the couch eating pizza while watching “Say Yes to the Dress.” What a thrilling Friday night. But once I get my Foot Petals my shoes will be good to go.

Good thing since the countdown now stands at 17 days and a wake up!

Will you tell UPS that I’m NOT talking to them?

I really don’t understand what I ever did to UPS to make them not like me so much but they just seem to keep messing with me. Constantly. It’s not like I go around talking down about UPS but lately they’ve been messing with my emotions.

Case in point: the latest shoe-related debacle in a string of shoe debacles. I bought my coveted gold shoes from Nine West, and yes I know I could have gotten them in the store and walked out that same day but I needed a wide shoe for my franken-foot and they only had those online. It was that or buy a shoe that was a full size bigger than I normally wear. Plus I got a 30% discount by ordering them online from Nine West themselves! I know! With free shipping! Exactly! So instead of dropping almost $88 to walk out with them I only paid $56.

Anywho, obviously giving me a tracking number is putting power in the wrong hands. Obsessive power that is. Because I’ve been tracking those things since I got that number. And you know what I also been doing? Noticing how my package has been sitting in San Pablo since MONDAY.

Just sitting there. Waiting. For what? My scheduled delivery on Thursday perchance?

Really?

I have to wait until Thursday for something you’ve had since Monday?

Because THAT makes a lot of sense. You already have the box. Just send it my way. You don’t have to stick to the schedule. Besides, it would be a lot better to get that box off your hands as soon a possible because that means you have less of me to deal with. See how that works? This is for your benefit! Help me, help you! You already know how uppity I can get about these types of things.

I’m really just hoping that y’all haven’t up and lost my package again. I haven’t seen any kind of moment on it since its arrival scan at 12:14 pm on Monday, December 1st [see what power the tracking number yields?] in the San Pablo center. Yeah, someone please explain.

There’s nothing wrong with delivering a package a few days earlier than scheduled. I won’t freak out. The system won’t freak out. Trust me.

But if I must wait until tomorrow, they better be there when I get home.

Or we’ll have more of this.