Archive | October, 2010

A.D.I.D.A.S. – All Day I Dream About Socks

20 Oct

So I opened up a package recently – am I the only one who gets super excited when they get a package in the mail, even if you know what it is? – and they were socks that I had recently ordered. I absolutely love socks; in fact, I adore leg-wear in general (minus pants). While they socks are a real hassle to put on sometimes, making flip-flops and flats oh so convenient, you can’t deny how amazing a great pair of socks feel – unless they’re slipping off your feet, which really bites. Ugh.

One thing I love about autumn is that it’s the perfect time for leggings, tights and socks. Some days are warm enough to wear knee socks with a cute skirt, but if you want to bundle up, there’s always woolen stockings, too.

These toasty knee-socks are from Sockdreams, this amazing little sock boutique I recently found out about. They have a large selection of socks at all different lengths. Best part? Free shipping within the continental US! You don’t need to tell me twice. I had originally planned on wearing them with black flats, but that got way too boring. Pink it is!

Also from Sockdreams, these are thigh-high (!) socks. I found that they didn’t quite stretch over my thighs, but I prefer the scrunched look anyway. One of my friends suggested I wear them with my gold Air Forces. While I am still wearing the skirt from the previous photo (contrary to popular belief, apparently) it didn’t quite fit with the outfit as an actual look. Oh well – I can always try again later. Lastly, I do not care what anyone says, those forces are boss. I feel like a Solid Gold Globetrotter.

And finally – my beloved tie-dye tights from We Love Colors! This photo does not do the bright colors justice – I’ll have to take more when I actually figure out how to wear these things in public. I feel like pairing any color with these intense tights is a recipe for disaster, so my only options are white or black. Unfortunately for me, I actually…don’t own many clothes in those colors. At all. Not a single dress or skirt. Oh well, I guess I’ll have to go Little Black Dress shopping!

One of the great things about socks and tights is that they’re extremely versatile. You could pair dark tights under tweed or wool shorts to bring summer into autumn (but do it quickly, before it gets too cold!), you could pair almost any color legwear with neutral boots and outerwear – a black overcoat is a blank canvas! You could try calf-high socks with a cute pair of strappy heels and a skirt – though I would suggest going high or flat with your shoes, kitten heels just look funny, in my opinion. Of course, the classic is pairing your legwear with a slinky dress and an understated boot. When it gets ultra-cold, wear them under your jeans for more layering.

How do you wear your socks? I’d love to hear your comments – especially considering that I’m a little stumped about my closet, as you can see.




Do You Need that Expansion Pack? Or…Why Your (Love) Life Should be More Like the Sims

18 Oct

Note: You don’t have to have a strong familiarity with The Sims to understand what I’m about to say, but if you’d like to brush up, there’s plenty of information on its Wikipedia page.

A lot of people put emphasis on “summer love” – but I truly think the time the yearn for coupledom starts once summertime starts to cool down and slowly but surely, the leaves begin to change. Catching the eye of an attractive stranger suddenly becomes less appealing, as cuddling with a special someone underneath a blanket – warm drink optional, but highly recommended – quickly rises in priority. Don’t even get me started on holidays: if you’re alone by then you must be hopeless, am I right?

Sound familiar?

A lot of us have had this feeling – myself included. When feeling flirty, free and uncommitted loses its luster, things start to feel a bit incomplete without a special someone to fill in the blanks you may have in your life. But is that really what you need?

Enter …The Sims.

And no, I am not suggesting you play it, but I would recommend against it if you have work to do.

The Sims is a fantastic game – if you don’t agree, just humor me. There are so many possibilities and choices you can make. While you don’t have control over every single thing and you determine much of the game’s outcome by choices you make. The open-ended nature and never-ending set of goals make it possible to play for hours. Plus, of course, there is so much richness and detail in almost all aspects of the game, that you can dive in, no matter how you like to play. To make it even more expansive, there are expansion packs – they add more variety and dimensions to the game. For example, in one, your Sim gains the ability to attend college.

This isn’t a paid advertisement for the game, though.

Part of the appeal of the Sims is the fact that it’s a great game out of the box – expansion packs enhance the experience, but they surely don’t make the game: you’d probably be having fun whether your Sim was attending college or not.

But just like the Sims doesn’t need an expansion pack to be enjoyable, you shouldn’t need a “special someone” to give your life the spark it needs, either.

Someone wise once said, “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else?”

And Rupaul was speaking the absolute truth. If your life is lacking in some regard – you feel purposeless, your self-esteem isn’t up to par, etcetera, relying on somebody (or something!) else to mend those problems can be a fruitless endeavor. If you expect someone lovely to sweep you off your feet and suddenly – everything will be different! – you may be in for some serious disappointment. Hoping an external force to solve your personal problems single-handedly is a very lofty expectation – one that very few people, or things can live up to. Not only does this create high standards on your end; it might be frustratingly difficult to achieve for the other person as well. Expecting someone to be magical is just plain unfair.

These mechanisms go past significant others – you could apply the same idea things like weight or fitness level, place of residence, the clothes in your closet or the figure in your bank account. If these things change, all of your problems will evaporate, leaving your life tens of times better. Unfortunately, that’s not true. They’re a way of shifting the problem on an external force, because let’s face it: total accountability can be terrifying. I can relate.

When things are a jumbled mess within, adding something extra on top probably won’t fix things – instead, they might become even more complicated. What’s the sense in installing an expansion pack if your game is broken? Now you’re playing the same busted Sims – but hey, at least they can go to college! When the game’s not crashing, of course.

Just like you shouldn’t need an expansion pack to enjoy the Sims properly, you shouldn’t need a romantic relationship or some other substitute in order to enjoy your life. Adding something or someone to the mix can be truly wonderful – but ineffective if there are some serious technical issues already in place. Unless there’s a solid foundation, you’re missing out on the true experience. And why would you want to do that?

Just remember: External forces do not make you worthy of love, fulfillment or happiness. You do.

And here’s a hint: you are already worthy. Trust me. But of course, it’s not up to me to tell you.

xoxo, Tara

Slowed Down Sunday – 10/17/10

17 Oct


Hello everyone – this week has been ultra-busy, but here is an account of some of the things I’m super thankful for this week:

♥Skyward Prodigal – Also known as ebonbird. She was one of the first people I met when I made my leap into fandom (she was a huge fan of Storm of the X-Men, just as I was, although I didn’t make the connection until later) and she blew me away with her magnificent collection of beautiful, multi-ethnic pictures. But even more than that, she was a lovely, intelligent person who always acted with the utmost grace. She will be missed.

♥Mother-Daughter Time – I was just in Maryland this past weekend, but my mother still came up to Pittsburgh on Tuesday. She couldn’t have come at a better time – I was under a lot of stress, and I needed her. We got to spend some quality time shooting the breeze and getting some dinner together (which we’ve never done, all the times she’s come to Pittsburgh!) which I certainly enjoyed. The more I get used to living in Pittsburgh, the more I appreciate what I have in Maryland. Funny how that happens, right?

♥Miscellaneous things: Learning the history of your city – I took a walking tour in Pittsburgh today that was absolutely fascinating. Who knew it was the site of the first movie theater in the world?; Cleaning, as I believe it’s a form of personal therapy; trying out the new frozen yogurt place nearby and realizing how similar it was to the one I miss from home – they even have mochi!; taking long naps in the waning sunlight; that every eatery seems to have a pumpkin-flavored menu offering; getting knee-deep in a new fandom; the crisp smell of autumn air; in-between weather, with the slightest tinge of coolness; football – even though the Ravens lost, I still have hope for the Steelers; trying s’mores for the first time; finally getting an opportunity to break out the fall boots; making fantastic plans with people I love

So, what have you? Do you appreciate anything special this week?

xoxo, Tara

Weekend Links – 10/15/10

15 Oct

Goodness gracious: Is it really Friday already? I feel like this week passed in a heartbeat! Anyhow, after taking a delicious cat-nap, here is the latest round of weekend links to get your weekend reading off to a good start: after all that hard work this week, hunkering down and reading something interesting seems like a relief, no? (It sure is to me.)

◊This is an amazing film about two amazing women, that I really hope to see in the near future. Not to get political, but Angela Davis and Yuri Kochiyama are powerful activists that should be better known. I’ll admit that I only have passing knowledge of Yuri Kochiyama, but I look forward to learning more about her.

◊  I have some interest in branding, so this stuck me as fascinating: What are the colors chosen to represent the most powerful brands in the world?

◊  Although some of the loftier travel plans I’ve made haven’t seemed to pan out, that isn’t stopping me completely – there are many places I’d like to see, so this guide to purchasing a round the world plane ticket (that kicks ass, no less) is quite intriguing.

◊  Are you reading Daily Pep Talk From a Best Friend yet? If you need a pick-me-up sometimes (and who doesn’t?) Give it a read.  One of my favorites:

Pep Talk: Aren’t you glad you don’t feel the need to shit on anybody’s parade today? There’s so much negativity out there but you aren’t adding to it or letting it steal your focus. You’ve got your own thing going on and it requires a lot of positive attention. Who has the time to hate on strangers? Not you, my friend. You’re too busy being awesome.

◊  Did you know your friends can affect your brain function? Well, now you do.

◊  I love this fashion shoot – the colors, patterns and mixed prints are just gorgeous. On a semi-related note, since we’re talking mixed prints, my boy Mondo Guerra needs to win Project Runway this season. Just putting that out there.

◊  This is a giant LOL – I love the entries on Not That Kind of Girl, but I think I love her post-it note illustrations even more…

◊  Have you ever felt plagued by your perfectionism? Here’s a quick guide on how to shed some of that weight.

◊  I’m not sure how many of you guys are fellow gamers, but this interested me: 9 Video Game Easter Eggs that Took Years to Find. Who knew you could play as the Master Hand in Super Smash Brothers Melee?

◊  Last but not least, here’s the source for the rest of the gorgeous photoshoot featured above. Love everything – the setting, colors, clothes …to die. Love.

Music of the Week – Sleepyhead by Passion Pit

Anything interesting to share? Let me have it in the comments.

xoxo, Tara

What’s in my Handbag?

13 Oct

I honestly think that you can tell a lot about a woman by what she has in her handbag. What can be considered essential to one person may be seen as frivolous to another, or what might seem utterly practical to somebody could come off as completely absurd! Speaking of which, that’s mine (apologies for the photo quality – there wasn’t much natural light in gray ol’ Pittsburgh).  I got it made in Tanzania, along with a matching skirt, which I happen to be wearing as I type this. And if you like the purse, you never know: you may just get lucky…on a later date. (The suspense!)

This is the stuff that I normally carry around, minus the Cute Overload Calendar (clockwise, from far left) –

♥Assortment of Lipglosses and Chapsticks – I cannot do without lip gloss and lip balm. It is one of the few things that I try to keep with me whenever, wherever – because dry, chapped lips is an awful feeling. That little green egg-sphere thing is a container of eos lip balm, which I absolutely love.

♥   Coin Purse – I got it from a Warhol print totebag that I carried in high school. I love how shiny it is (plus, the chain makes it easy to find)

Prescription glasses – All I can say is that I should really wear them more. But they’re lime green!

Assorted Pens, Pencils (and Dramamine) – Pens are another must. You never know when someone might stop you on the street for an autograph…and as for Dramamine, I get motion sick, okay? It’s a must!

Lanyard and Card Holder – As a college student, this is an essential: it has all of my important cards in there. Note the “Hail to Pitt” lanyard.

Udderly Smooth Lotion – LOVE it. I was attracted to the packaging and the price (I believe it’s under $2) and it really comes in handy! It’s non-scented, non-greasy and airplane friendly.

Vapur Water Bottle – I was introduced to this by Nuri when she did a similar feature on her blog. I’ve talked this bottle up enough, but basically, it’s reusuable, it’s cute and it rolls up when empty. Killer. (Hint: If it’s sold out on their official website, try Amazon.)

iPod – Her name is Poddy LaBelle and I love her.

Gum – Not an essential, but I like to have it. I’m not really picky with brands, but I prefer sticks over those little square things. No fruit flavors, please.

Keys – They had to be so big so I wouldn’t lose them! I especially adore my little unicorn keychain and angry cloud house key.

MoleskineI carry the to-do list Moleskine, which comes in handy for managing due-dates, appointments and random doodles. I also have a Fat Lil’ Notebook (seriously…that’s what it’s called) for all of my other random sketches and thoughts.

Cellphone (Samsung Rogue) – Okay, so I don’t have an iPhone, Android or Blackberry – but I love my little Rogue in all its simplicity, even if it does refuse to change my wallpaper.

That’s all for my purse! What do you all carry in your purses? (Or bags…or pockets…)



Slowed Down Sunday – 10.10.10

10 Oct

Hello everyone: I hope your past week was absolutely fantastic. While I usually take this time to discuss what I’m thankful for during the week, I’d like to modify it a little bit this time. I hope you don’t mind.

♥ My Dog, Desi:

I loved Desi from the minute I set eyes on her in the local Animal Shelter about six years ago. She was a Sharpei mix (German Shepard, maybe?) puppy found running around the local neighborhood, gone unclaimed. I reached out to pet her, she gnawed on my purse. In short order, we had taken her home.

It took her a little while to adjust to our household – especially to our two cats, Twist and Shout, who immediately disliked her energetic nature and loud barks – but eventually she settled into our family routine. In High School, letting her outside was the start to my day and it always ended with me shutting off the family room light with her curled up on the carpet, guarding the garage door, a silent sentry.

While we’ve had her times – her Houdini-like approach to our backyard was a regular headache, just like her picky eating habits (what a Princess!) – she was a beloved member of the family and the first one to greet me when I came back home from college.

This past Tuesday, my beloved dog Desiree was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. The very next day, her condition had deteriorated to the point where my family elected to have her put to sleep. The last thing they wanted was for our beloved dog to suffer.

I’ll always remember, love and miss her.

Weekend Link Roundup – 10.8.2010

8 Oct


Happy Friday, Everybody! If you’re in the Northeastern United States like me, you’re hopefully getting a brief reprieve from the blustery weather of autumn. Could it possibly be a better weekend for me to head back to Maryland to see some of my favorite people (and pets)? I hope you’re as excited

◊ In case you haven’t noticed, I LOVE purple. Here’s a Color Me Pretty feature on Décor 8 showing beautiful hues of purple!

◊ Something that could be useful to all of us: How to Start Loving Yourself More and be Happier – Right now! Who doesn’t love that?

◊ On HackCollege (although the principles could apply to anyone) – A clean room is a happy room. I feel like the neatness of my room is a direct reflection of the clutter (or lack thereof, if I’m lucky) in my brain. Anyway, view it here:

◊ Ever stuck in a creative rut? Here are some tips to generate outstanding – not just good or great, but outstanding – ideas.

◊ This is really cute: a Do-It-Yourself ribbon necklace. Chic, affordable, and when someone asks you where you bought it, just say, “I made it!”

◊ This is just plain cool: Canon cameras (my brand of choice) made these awesome sculptures from ink. Love them.

◊ Luxirare is back! This time she made herself a fantastic travel bag that solves the common problem jetsetters seem to have: How do I carry on my camera, laptop, documents and everything else without lugging a heavy backpack or bringing multiple bags?

◊ Here’s another Color Me Pretty on Decor8 via A Creative Mint – this time in violet and silver. (I’m getting predictable, aren’t I?)

Jam of the Week: Esperanza Spalding – I Adore You

I hope you all have a fantastic weekend! If you have anything cool going on or links to share, feel free to leave them in the comments.