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Bag + Luggage = Baggage

August 31st, 2010

I had originally written a massive post along with these photos, but as usual when something gets too big, I decided to make it a separate post for another day. It kind of went along with the theme of these pictures, but just to let you know… it’s about our little vacation this weekend, plus the usual, crazy pondering. So I guess if you are used to being uncomfortable with my “textual” emotions and surprisingly enough, actually like that I write about them, I am warning you that another one of “those” entries is coming this week! People who have known me from my blog since the start will know that I never just take clothes at face value, never just review fashion or its designers, and especially never write like a blind advocate of trends. There’s always something deeper behind clothes—whether it be psychological, physical, or spiritual, and I like to write about those things. Interestingly enough, I have developed two sets of audiences with some overlapping between them: people who like clothes and pretty pictures and people who can endure long posts and engage in discussion. I love all of you, and together, the two groups represent… well, me!

Needless to say, vacations are meant to be a time to get away from things, including hurting or stress. Where I will be going, I can only hope to be relieved from all of that. You have to admit, not all getaways are stress-free. I’ll just look at the bright side and think that I do not have to do a speck of work at all, not even household chores. That alone, indeed, is awesome! This pretty, red suitcase isn’t really my only baggage. No, I’m not getting into that “life’s pulling me down” type of baggage. I was really talking about bags. Not underneath my eyes, silly. You know, luggage? I almost never carry just one bag, and I’m sure you girls know that about yourselves, too! What I Wore: Sakura Rose shirt, skirt, bracelet, necklace | Nine West pumps | American Tourister suitcase

Links à la Mode

August 27th, 2010

Pretty sweet. Thanks again to Independent Fashion Bloggers for picking my post for this week!

Looking Forward to Looking Back for Fall

Edited by: Ann of Holier than Now
Every season begins with looking back: the designers revisit trends of yore, and we fling open our oversized Tupperware bins and dig through the back of our closets to see just what it was we wore this time last year. Despite the thrill of new trends, most of us probably feel that the first Fall shopping we should do is in our own closet (View from 5 ft. 2 and Your Saving Style inspire on this front). Next step: after considering your bank account, and perhaps the pros and cons of fast fashion (see: Consumerism Killed My Soul), a visit to your local thrift store or flea market for vintage finds might replace that mall excursion you were imagining. With a wealth of inspiration from the blogosphere, there’s never been a better time to invest in – or just be inspired by – style from the past.

Links à la Mode: August 26th

Blogger Behind-the-Wheel

August 25th, 2010

I just started learning how to drive and am on my way to getting my license pretty soon. I know it’s pretty sad that I’m 23 and just getting my driver’s license, but what did I say the other day? You don’t have to know how to drive to get married, and I survived my high school and college years getting rides from friends and family, proving that point. My being a pain in the butt needing a chauffeur all the time was another matter altogether. I’ve always wanted to drive, but the circumstances around me just didn’t formulate that possibility.  Years passed and that opportunity arose—it was time to get driving!
So, I am in a driver’s ed class right now with a bunch of hormonal teenagers and one boisterous woman in her late thirties. I found myself right smack in the middle of bubble gum teendom and the “middle-ages.” What was I doing there? Well, a year and a half ago, I moved into a state where driver’s ed and behind-the-wheel aren’t allowed to be taken separately in two different states. With that law just having come into effect last November, I was forced to take the 30-hour class despite my having completed the bloody driver’s ed course six years ago. Just splendid!

You have now been informed of my weeknight whereabouts in the abyss of the driver’s ed classroom, where I spend my time cruising through familiar course materials and thinking about what I would rather be doing while Depeche Mode plays in the background of my mind. One funny thing to remember about the class was what my instructor asked me one night. After everybody in the class left, he asked me what I did for a living. When I told him I designed websites, he said he thought I was a model—to which I replied, “No. I just like nice clothes, and I stand really stiff.” If I had added anything more (for instance, about fashion blogging), the 50-some year-old man might’ve given me a long, blank stare and a bewildered, “Huh?” So, I digressed.

What I wore:
Vintage 70’s Jessica West blouse | Sakura Rose cardigan & skirt | Soho sandals | FYE eyeglasses and a smirk on my face

Sakura Rose @ DC Fest ’10

August 23rd, 2010

Last Saturday at the DC Fest, I helped out at a booth with Jessica Rogers, founder of Sakura Rose, a modest clothing store based in New Jersey. They like to go around Christian and womens’ festivals all over the US to help spread the word about their store and the values behind their clothing. I felt very fortunate when I found out that last weekend’s festival was at my college’s stadium (the Patriot Center at George Mason University), so the day doubled as an experience of not-too-long-ago nostalgia. Jessica was very nice and spirited, and I was very much delighted to meet her after our several conversations revolving around faith and fashion.

They have a lot of really neat items from the funky jewelry to the basic wardrobe must-have’s. The “Camis that Cover” tagline was probably what caught most people’s attention. Why wear a cami underneath a blouse if it doesn’t cover your goodies when you bend down? These do. Smart, eh? These camis should definitely be a staple of your closet if you don’t want to literally staple your chest to your shirt to avoid an embarrassing fashion faux pas! Pretty soon, there’s going to be a huge giveaway at Sakura Rose, so don’t forget to sign up for their e-newsletter or Facebook for alerts and sales. Being in on the insider scoop, I believe it’s not something you’d want to miss! Thanks to the hubs for his moral support, cuddles, camera assistance, and male presence in an otherwise female-dominated booth.

Also, I want to thank Aline for posting my photos on her blog as an example for “monochrome in spring”.

Note: This entry has probably little to do with fashion, but I personally view fashion as having a part to play in everything.

When asked what the essence of being a woman is, one contestant from the 1994 Miss Universe pageant answered very profoundly. The lovely Ms. Sushmita Sen, who ended up winning the crown at that year’s pageant, replied that the essence of being a woman was to be a good wife and a mother. Although I am not promoting beauty pageants, this answer was precisely to the point and quite biblical.

Proverbs describes a virtuous woman as a good wife and a mother. The bible doesn’t give prerequisites for who gets to be a wife and who has to be single for life. I believe the book of Proverbs was written for all women regardless of ethnicity, religion, or economic status. The problem with modern and progressive thinking, even among the church, is the unwritten standard of who gets to be a wife, often involving a sort of mental “to-do list” before a woman gets married. This list usually includes having a steady job, a few years of living independently, and a college degree. I doubt that God had these requirements in mind when he created Eve.

Women’s Roles

While there is no enumeration of things to be done before marriage, God did however allow governments to form in order to set laws into place, including marital laws (1 Peter 2:13-17, Romans 13:1-3). The Bible’s principles and the government’s laws are explicit, uncompromising, and mandatory. Unwritten contemporary notions of the aforementioned checklist, however, aren’t. Biblically, women were not meant to live independently for the rest of their lives, nor were they meant to be the main workers and bread winners (1 Corinth 11:11, 1 Corinth 11:10). In some cases, this might happen because of circumstances within the home or the life of an individual, and that is perfectly fine, and I believe, part of God’s plan. In His wisdom, He has allowed society to move in a direction where women can live alone or even raise a child on their own without constant fear of starving or being taken advantage of. This privilege and freedom, which can be such a blessing to a (voluntarily or involuntarily) single woman or a person from a broken home, has also created a flexibility of lifestyle that leads to a sense of empowerment. This should not be turned against women who want to get married yet do not have a job. A woman who has never had a job in her life or a college degree is as ready to be a wife as someone who has both.

Sure, a woman is better off knowing how to take care of herself in case anything happens to the husband. Knowing how to survive can be a learned process. It’s not something you can  just snatch from a textbook or become an expert about after years of living independently. Everybody is always learning and no one ever quite reaches the point of perfection. That is why being a novice cook, homemaker, or even a novice in romantic relationships when you get married should be acceptable.

Most single people say, “I am not ready to marry.” This usually implies that they are not ready to commit and want to enjoy their singleness with other people of the opposite sex, or it means that they do not have everything on the checklist marked off because of something like having a year and a semester to go before graduation. The latter reason is perfectly fine as long as that personal premarital expectation or goal is not projected onto someone else’s life.

Personal Combat

When I was married almost a year and a half ago, I had been hurtfully discouraged from being married as early as I did among my friends, family, and even church members. Their checklists were different than mine. They thought I was throwing my college education and career out the door because I wanted to stay at home and just do freelance. My family frowned upon my leaving our flourishing business and starting anew. To be honest, I really have never been happier. I get to do all the things I love in the comfort of my own home and at the same time fulfill my duties as a wife. It also rocks being with the sexiest man alive.

Maturity Through Age

Regarding maturity, one reason why there is discouragement for young people to marry is that they are fickle and their personalities change drastically over time. For the most part, this is true, but only when the decision to marry is based on feelings. Love is both a feeling and a choice. I believe you can be 18 and have a solid stand on both your faith and your decision to stick with your husband, for better or for worse, ’til death do you part. I personally know couples who got married much younger than I and are still going strong. Ironically, my own parents got married at a younger age than I, but that was merited by their parents and peers because of their college diplomas—whereas I got married while attending college. That’s not such a bad thing, is it?


Another good reason to get married as early as possible has to do with our sexual nature. We desire sex right when hitting puberty, and the longer we wait, the harder we burn deep inside. It took me a while to really admit this to myself. Marriage to me was just about the fairy tale feeling of love which included but was not based on sex. 1 Corinthians 7:7-9 confirms that marriage is about sex. Paul (the writer of this epistle) paints marriage in this passage as an institution for Christians who “burn,” which basically means those of us who essentially can’t contain our sexuality or “exercise self-control.” “This is a concession,” Paul says, “I wish that all were as I myself am.” Singleness is considered preferable. Women rarely think of sex as often as guys do, but I think the fact that we do think of it is prevalent and obvious in our clothing among other things. Women may not all be crazy about sex or crave it, but most of us love sexual attention. Advertising for almost everything, especially in fashion, uses sex because it is one of the top two basic human desires of human beings. Desire is probably the highest form of wanting, and it is synonymous to the acts of coveting and longing. To target this beautifully barbaric need gives an automatic response, and that is why ads that sell through sex do so well. Yes, sex is beautiful, but with the onset of AIDS and heartaches from having multiple partners, among many other complications, it has become painfully obvious that it is best to have only one. God wasn’t being ridiculous and coming up with laws for the sake of laws. He had a reason for each one of them, and some of them we might not understand even to this day.

Turning my back on my old “spiritual leaders” due to their discouraging remarks on my getting married at the ripe age of 22 made me feel like a rebel, but I knew that I had to stand up against personally or religiously biased opinions and checklists and look at what the Bible was really fundamentally saying. It doesn’t help that I look like I’m just 18 years old, which is about the mean (if not mode) age I’ve been mistaken for.

What do you think are the pros/cons on marrying as young as legally possible? Do you think a young woman is capable of raising a family? What are your experiences involving these things?

Blue Hawaiian, Surfer Rosa

August 17th, 2010

I am finally just now posting the photos from last weekend in New Jersey! I was supposed to meet up with my friend Victoria, but with achy dancing bodies on our end and a death in her church family on her end, sadly things didn’t end up as planned. We still had a real blast in Jersey attending my aunt and uncle’s wedding anniversary celebration. The best part of that weekend was stopping by Philly on our way back home, where we found some really cheap used CD’s and had Geno’s cheesesteaks for lunch! Let me tell you though, nothing beats this one cheesesteak place we have relatively close to us in Towson, MD. It’s called “The Real Thing,” and it’s run by a guy named Tony. His place should be lined up with customers! His steaks are the best I’ve ever had and even beat authentic Philly cheesesteaks! So, if you ever do go, let him know Rachel and Rob sent you. I promise not to disappoint! PS- We are not getting anything for this promotion. I just wish more people knew about his place! We try to go as often as we can, so you might end up spotting Rob and I one of these days if you do come visit.

I’m not a surfer, my name is not Rosa, and I’m not in Hawaii. I just used the name of one of Pavement’s songs combined with my favorite Pixies’ album as today’s post title. I’m not promoting voyeurism either, for those who know the Pixies’ album, but somehow the photos we took that weekend made me think of colorful, exotic fiestas by the water. The reception was held at a country club overlooking a pond and a golf course, so it’s not THAT odd for me to think of that! We were definitely having a party by a body of water.

Hungry, flower-fancying Rob took all the photos of me in this post. We generally liked the music that night, it being mostly oldies. My aunt is a show performer with a delightful operatic voice, so we had our share of Broadway performances that night!

There’s my aunt on the left in the above photo. Can you spot the woman with the Anthropologie lobster dress on the right dancing?

I am going to have this dress up for sale in the shop as soon as I get it running. It’s a Liz Claiborne vintage in a small. I love it so much, but I have a hard time repeating wearing statement dresses with little remix ability. If you are interested, just shoot me an e-mail with your best offer.

What I wore: Liz Claiborne vintage dress | Bumpits | Delicious shoes from Amazon | Copper bangle from Ebay

Links à la Mode

August 16th, 2010

Too cool. Thanks to Independent Fashion Bloggers for featuring one of my posts again! Mine is on the first link. Feel free to read the other posts!  Outfit shots coming later.

Fast Forward to Fall

Edited by: Florrie Clarke of Intrinsically Florrie.
The trends for the coming months were dictated back on the catwalks in February, but now as September draws closer it’s time to get our teeth into them and have a good hard think about those all important autumn buys. Particularly seeing as while I type this the weather is strongly urging me towards a winter wardrobe.
This week’s links both look to winter and bask in the remaining sun. We look at a fashion interpretation of the current oil spill disaster (intelligent or tasteless?), are inspired by gorgeous fashion illustrations and a chain bag DIY, debate the history of the ‘prep’ look and think about how all our choices determine our body shape.

Links à la Mode: August 16th

  • a la modest: High-waisted jeans (a.k.a. mom jeans) are back in vogue!
  • Beautifully Invisible: Steven Meisel’s Water & Oil: Social Commentary or Tasteless Fashion?
  • Beyond Fabric: On men bags
  • Dramatis Personae: Gilda Su announce Revasseur & Pre-Fall 2011 Lookbook.
  • Embracing Style: How to make your own chain bag!
  • Fete a Fete: Review of Guerlain’s new 68 Champs-Elysees fall 2010 makeup collection:
  • For Those About To Shop: Katharine Hamnett is the mother of eco-fashion and believes consumers have the power to change the world
  • Independent Fashion Bloggers: Can you Kickstart a New Career With Crowdfunding?
  • Intrinsically Florrie: Dream dress and dream shoes- the fairytale look
  • Kyoto Maiko: You Can’t Buy “Prep,” But You Can Own It…
  • Miss Jones & Me: Roll into the Wild Woolly West: A focus on Fall transition pieces because the temperature can’t drop soon enough!
  • My Closet in Sketches: A hand drawn interpretation of the magic of white jeans (from the Gap men’s department, to boot!).
  • Vogue Gone Rogue: tuscan vineyards and teal rompers. A lighthearted outfit post inspired by Tuscan countryside and wine.
  • Rags to Reverie: Sarah Mower’s Fashion Illustrations for Vogue China and Vogue Nippon
  • Retro Chick: A very modern vintage manicure
  • Shoe Daydreams: Where do you draw the line with knocks-offs… what about when a blogger favorite retailer is doing it?
  • Shoeper Woman: Why does no one dress up any more?
  • Style Eyes: How to jump right out of a style rut – some ideas on how to look and feel great
  • Stylin’ Girl: Kristen McMenamy. Collages & trivia about a timeless fashion icon!
  • The Demoiselles: What would you sacrifice for a more “fashion-friendly” body?
  • The Simply Luxorious Life: A dream of a shopping list for the fall fashions – staples that will enhance any woman’s wardrobe.
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