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Harem Jumpers: Stylish & Comfy Style or 80’s Fashion Relic?

harem jumper OOTD

I am a child of the late 80’s/early 90’s and I loved every wacky, bodacious second of it. Although as we reflect back on those years, it is undeniable that an overwhelming majority of our most painfully awkward and embarrassing pop culture moments occurred in the 80’s.  It was a decade that produced some of the most memorable cringeworthy style fads of all time, such as: Acid wash jeans, scrunchies, hairspray and perms, neon colored wind suits and of course harem pants. Inspired by the greats of the era, MC Hammer and Vanilla Ice.


 

(I still firmly believe those were the greatest fashion years of my life. Sometimes I wonder if it was growing up in the late 80’s early 90’s that gave me my flare for the dramatic when it comes to clothes (hence wearing an oversized jumper in 2015 and loving it))

Just recently I saw a picture of everyone’s favorite overgrown man child, Justin Beiber, wearing some serious harem pants and  I literally said outloud: “Hammer did it better.” Bc. how could anyone forget this:

or this:

and while we’re at it, this:

unfortantly, hammer pants were one of the few fashion items my parents refused to purchase for me (along with glittery  pink, fringed cowboy boots). I see now that my parents were doing me a favor because i have a feeling my hammer pants wouldn’t have gone over very well with all the kids at my school in West Texas. So, thanks guys for that.

But that doesn’t mean I can’t fulfill my Hammer Time fantasy as an adult! I am free to make my own bad decisions! Sometimes being an adult IS great, because no one can tell you “no” if you want to buy an oversized diaper jumper and wear it in public!

I was pleasantly surprised with how it fit, although it’s a very thin jersey knit fabric so it attaches its self to unappealing areas (the crutch and the butt). I did wear it on a really windy day which didn’t help with that though. It is really comfortable and I actually really like the styling and draping of the fabric. I had to be careful when I walked because this particular jumper always ended up giving me a wedgie. The jumpsuit I purchased was the cheap version (as usual) which may speak to the thinness of the fabric. Shopbop has a designer brand option which is undoubtably better quality in their  Basic Terrain Harem Jumpsuit, for $158.00:

basic terrain jumpsuit


to wear or not to wear:

It’s not an item I will be wearing very often but it’s really fun to have in my closet for days when I  am feeling bored with everything else in my closet and also because I like to put it on and do the Hammer Time dance in the mirror when I need a quick trip down memory lane. Plus, I bought mine on Amazon for less than $15.00

In conclusion: no one pulls it off like the Hammer but I have a feeling the harem jumper hasn’t had it’s final style moment yet…
harem jumper street styleMy Outfit details: Spaghetti Strap Harem Jumper, $14.95, vintage tooled leather bag, Gottex Women’s Laurent Felt Hat, $79.00 on Amazon, Yara Birkenstock Thongs $120.00

yara birkenstock thongs

 

so the final question is: would you? I am totally okay if your answer is a resounding no.

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20 Original Winter/Holiday Themed Art Journal Ideas

20 artist journal page ideas

I put together a little Holiday Themed Art Journal Idea List, some of the ideas are a bit simple but fun.

I always find myself journaling and sketching a lot over the Christmas and New Years breaks. I think it’s my way of reflecting on everything that happened over the past year as well as gearing up for the new year ahead (also because I usually like to start the new new calendar year off with a fresh journal so I try to fill up the remaining pages in the old one). Also, I am one of those people who religiously comes up with New Years Resolutions every year…The older I get, the more it’s becoming a bucket list and a reminder for me that life is moving fast. I am a big list person too…I just feel better about my lack of organizational skills when I can cross off even the most mundane tasks.

I also rounded up some of my favorite journal pages from this year….they are nothing like some of the pages I see of other artists on pinterest or tumblr…but they make me happy 🙂 Some of them can fit as examples for the Winter themed list so Ill note them if they do…

 

e e cummings mixed media art journal collage page

e e cummings mixed media art journal collage page

One of my favorite things to do is write down  inspiring quotes, passages, poems r song lyrics I come across and then create some sort of art around it.

ink and mixed media watercolor shape collage with inspiring quote
ink and mixed media watercolor shape collage with quote
watercolor flower bouquet and vase
watercolor flower bouquet and vase
succulent and cacti planters
succulent and cacti planters
floral watercolor artist sketchbook page
floral watercolor artist sketchbook page

mixed media artist sketchbook page

abstract watercolor journal page

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Six Life Changing Books

llife changing books

Books saved me. For as long as I can remember, I have loved reading. I genuinely cannot remember a time when I was without books. Even Before I learned to read, I made my mom read my favorite children’s books to me, over and over, until I had  memorized all the words. I would stay up with my lamp on, flipping through each page and narrating my version back to myself.

“At one magical instant in your early childhood, the page of a book—that string of confused, alien ciphers—shivered into meaning. Words spoke to you, gave up their secrets; at that moment, whole universes opened. You became, irrevocably, a reader.”

When I learned to read a whole new universe was open to me. I still remember the first book that transported me completely and utterly into it’s world, a world I never wanted to leave: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. I spent months after finishing that book, opening closet doors, shifting through clothes, praying to find a secret passage that would lead me to Narnia.

books

As a child (and still to this day) much of my reading took place late at night. Even as a kid, I had trouble turning my mind off, different anxieties and worries all piling up in my brain and unable to sleep. Books saved me and showed me for the first time, that I wasn’t alone.

Before the wonderful world Goodreads, I compiled a list of every book I read, including the date I finished it and a short review, in notebooks that sat on my night stand. In a separate journal, I still write down quotes and passages that stick out to me, in the books I read (although, Goodreads also has an extensive library of quotes from every book imaginable and allows you to create your own quote list).

A few months ago on Facebook, someone tagged me to come up with Five Books that changed me in some way and that got me thinking……so…. I  came up with a list of six books I’ve read through out the course of my life that have changed me in some way:

1. One Hundred Years of Solitude Gabriel Garcia Marquez

 

Up until One Hundred Years of Solitude, the only “classic” novels I had read were the ones assigned to me for classes in high school.  In fact, it was Mrs. Barney, my English Honors teacher and favorite teacher who mentioned in class one day that One Hundred Years of Solitude was one of her favorite books…I checked it out from the school library that night.

One Hundred Years chronicles the epic rise and fall of the mythical South American town of Macondo, while charting the history of the extensively populated Buendia family. It is a rich and brilliant chronicle of life and death, and the tragicomedy of humankind. In the noble, ridiculous, beautiful, and tawdry story of the Buendía family, one sees all of humanity, just as in the history, myths, growth, and decay of Macondo, one sees all of Latin America.” (Goodreads)

One Hundred Years of Solitude is the very first book I read as an adult, in which I became completely engrossed in the magnetic, magical, alluring world Marquez created, a world I never wanted to leave.

I had never encountered a writer like Marquez, a genius storyteller, brilliant writer, with questionable sanity.  It created in me a passion for all Gabriel Garcia’s books and introduced me to my favorite fiction genre: magical realism. Solitude was responsible for deepening and broadening my passion for reading and sparked in me a love of words.  Gabriel Garcia Marquez taught me through One Hundred Years of Solitude how to  to look beyond what you can see in the everyday to peer into the beyond.

2. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Chbosky, Stephen [Paperback(1999£©]

.

 Where One Hundred Years of Solitude is vast and wordy,  making your head spin with detail and complexity, Perks of Being a Wallflower is breathtakingly simple and pure.

The main character and narrator, is Charlie, Perks of Being a Wallflower is responsible for introducing me to  is one of my all time favorite literary characters: Charlie, a shy, introspective, socially awkward, but highly intelligent incoming high school freshman, with a unique and refreshing view of the world.

While Perks of Being a Wallflower is no doubt aimed at younger audiences with it’s simplified style and diminutive number of pages, everyone can identify with the ‘coming of age” themes in the book and misfits trying to fit in.

What endeared me so much to Charlie and Perks of Being a Wallflower was his struggle to understand and deal with his fragile mental health. I am probably not the only one who sees themselves in Charlie, as he tries to understand who he is, why he feels so different from everyone else, desperate to find where he fits in, and to make sense out of life. I wish I had read this book while I was in high school, it would have saved me a lot of stress.

 

East of Eden

3. East of Eden by John Steinbeck

East of Eden is undisputedly one of American Literature’s most esteemed masterpieces, Steinbeck’s “magnus opus.”

Out of some strange book stubbornness, I avoided reading East of Eden for many years. Post college, I think I had burnt myself out on trying to only ever read the classics, I was worried East of Eden would let me down, but of course it did not.

But in Steinbeck’s sprawling Eden, some of fiction’s most mesmerizing characters are born. “He expertly explores :explored his most enduring themes: the mystery of identity, the inexplicability of love, and the murderous consequences of love’s absence.”It is a sprawling story of two families and their intertwined destinies.  East of Eden is often referred to as the “classic retelling of Genesis’ story of Cain and Able” through brothers Cal and Aaron. But Steinbeck goes much, much deeper.

Timshel, my friends, timshel.

The Waves by Virginia Woolf

4. The Waves by Virginia Woolf

One of my favorite past times is underlining beautiful passages in the books I read and write them in my journal….While skimming back through my old copy of The Waves, I noticed that almost every page had at least a few lines underlined, while other pages were almost completely underlined.

The Waves is a novel unlike any other. More poetry, than novel, The NY Times calls Woolf’s writing style in The Waves as“poetic brilliance…a symphonic poem” There are six main characters, although Woolf is not concerned in character formation and is written from the perspective of each character’s inner monologue, in which they think and express themselves in a poetic manner. The Waves focuses on the poetic symbols of life. The language is beautiful, sensual, lyrical ,deeply philosophical and life and nature are interconnected.

Geek Love

5. Geek Love by Katherine Dunn

Geek Love by Katherine Dunn is probably the most disturbingly dark and wonderfully strange books  I have ever read (and I’ve read some weird stuff!) Let me explain why:

Geek Love follows the Binewskis, a  traveling, carnival “freak” show family. And by freaks, I mean freaks:  the narrator and heroine, is Olympia, a deformed, albino, humpbacked dwarf, her brother is Arturo, the Aqua-Boy, born with fins for limbs, the Siamese twin sisters, Electra and Ipheginia, and Furtuno, who, in his family’s eyes, is born disappointingly normal. If that isn’t enough, the parents and the owners of the “Binewski’s Fabulon,” are also lacking in genetic flaws, but addicted to meth-amphetamine among other drugs, in hopes of creating more genetically mutated offspring to boost their business and beat out competitors.

Ahabs Wife6. Ahab’s Wife, or, the Star-Gazer by Sena Jeter Naslund

Ahab’s Wife tells the life story of the woman who would marry the sea captain who battles Moby Dick, but she is so much more than that. Ahab’s Wife follows her on her journey to find love and tranquility:

“A magnificent, vast, and enthralling saga, Sena Jeter Naslund’s Ahab’s Wife is a remarkable epic spanning a rich, eventful, and dramatic life. Inspired by a brief passage in Moby Dick, it is the story of Una, exiled as a child to live in a lighthouse, removed from the physical and emotional abuse of a religion-mad father. It is the romantic adventure of a young woman setting sail in a cabin boy’s disguise to encounter darkness, wonder, and catastrophe; the story of a devoted wife who witnesses her husband’s destruction by obsession and madness. Ultimately it is the powerful and moving story of a woman’s triumph over tragedy and loss through her courage, creativity, and intelligence.”

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The Happiness Project.

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

Lately, I have been reading the Happiness Project, a memoir by Gretchen Rubin. I picked it up, after much hesitation since I had been seeing it everywhere and was a little weary of it, for a couple of reasons. My personal life took a drastic and unexpected turn about a month ago and I was forced to reevaluate my life. I realized that I had not been happy and was not living my “best” life. Every day life had gotten ahold of me and I had stopped enjoying the little things like spending time with my loved ones, taking time to reflect and relax, and doing new and exciting things. This sparked an idea I had to come up with my own bucket list. Well, not a bucket list, but a “life list.” I started compiling a list of things that I wanted to do (not necessarily before I died) that I had been missing out on. My list included simple things like: “cooking dinner more,” “buying a bike”, “spend more time outdoors.” Things that I have always wanted to do and always told myself I would do, but never got around too. I started compiling them in a journal and it kind of took on a life of it’s own. 

So far, my list is 72 items and counting.

The first thing I did on my list, was the most physically noticeable and required the least amount of effort on my part: #18: cut all my hair off! Now, let me explain why this is a big deal. The last time I cut my hair more than an inch every two months or so, was when I was in the 3rd grade (over 20 years ago!) Of course, this was pre-puberty and my peers were merciless. Even adults made comments on it. My brother told me years later that his teacher asked him that first day I came to school after my hair cut, “who is the new boy at school?” 
I tried finding my year book photo but this is the closest pic I could find…another bad hair cut idea of mine (the perm)
Needless to say, I was scarred and scared to cut my hair after that so I let it go and it got looooooong. 

So one Sunday morning a couple weeks ago, I was having breakfast with an old friend and told her I wanted to cut my hair. She got excited and we called around to different salons and took the first open appointment. By lunch time 21 inches of my hair was in a baggy and most of my hair was gone! 

It really is amazing how doing something as simple as cutting your hair can make you feel like a new person and spark you to make changes. 
Has anyone else read the Happiness Project and/or made a life/bucket list? 

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the 10 most beloved films of my childhood.

We all have those movies that shaped our childhoods. As a kid, you never care whether or not your favorite film was critically acclaimed or a box office hit, but you loved it no matter how cheesy or ridiculous it was. Here are mine:
10) The Princess Bride. (1987).
Wesley and Princess Buttercup. A rhyming Andre the Giant. Fred Savage. A love story of epically comical proportions.
Anybody want a peanut?
9) Hook. (1991)
Robin Williams in green tights and Dustin Hoffman as Captain Hook. This movie version of the Peter Pan focuses on the “Grown up” Peter Pan. Peter has a family and a successful job and has forgotten the life he lived in Neverland until he pays a visit to his childhood home where Captain Hook seeks his revenge on Peter by kidnapping his children and forcing Peter to revisit Neverland and to remember the life he once lived. Along the way, Peter realizes how far he has come from the free-spirited Peter Pan he once was and must put his own children first before they forget him forever.
8) Fried Green Tomatoes. (1991)

A sad and depressingly beautiful movie, that despite my obvious taste for movies with lots of overacting, cartoon characters, and beautiful princesses as a child, I somehow managed to fall in love with.
7) The Never Ending Story. (1984)

A boy who gets picked on, escapes his tormenters by hiding in an attic and reading a magical book alone on a rainy night find himself drawn into the storyline. The hero gets to save the princess, while riding acorss the sky on a friendly luckdragon named Falkor, nonetheless. What kid doesn’t wish that this would happen to them? I think this movie inspired an entire generation of children to read. The story is amazing and the graphics are STILL better than alot of movies being made today.
6) Sleeping Beauty. (1959).

Does anyone else look back at some of the old classic Disney movies and notice how dark, depressing, and haunting some of them are? I mean isn’t the witch Maleficent just about the scariest villain? Her voice and laugh still gives me goosebumps. And what was with her creepy minions and that annoying pet crow; not to mention that long rod she bang on the ground all the time.

Kids these days have it easy…it’s all sparkly vampires and wizards.

But really, I think this might have been the first animated Disney movie I ever saw and definetely cemented that “prince charming” complex I suffered as a result.

I loved the three fairy godmothers: Flora, Fauna, and (especially) the chubby troublemaker, Merryweather.
(seriously how cute is she with those chubby cheeks?)
My favorite scene in the movie is when the three of them are trying to prepare a surprise 16th birthday party for Princess Aurora without the help of magic. Unsupsringly, a kerfuffle insues. Meanwhile, Princess Aurora is in the forest singing and dancing with the forest animals. Classic!
5) The Adventures of Milo and Otis. (1989).

Growing up, I had a VHS tape with Milo and Otis and Sleeping Beauty on it. I literally wore that tape out. I would watch one after the other over and over (great parenting mom and dad) and I was utterly distraught when the tape died. Thinking back on it now, it never occurred to me to ask for a new copy of my two “Cant live without” movies from my parents…but maybe by then I had moved on to greener and more musical pastures (see movie below) or maybe my parents were sick of me hogging the t.v.

That kooky cat and silly pup and there whirlwind adventures were mesmerizing to me. Plus, I remember thinking that a talking cat and dog was the most hilarious thing ever.

FYI: Recently, I was reading an article on Milo and Otis and found out that the movie was orginally japanese and the movie was re-edited with English Speaking dialog.

– also the same article said there were some serious concerns regarding the safety of the animals in the movie and that several animals died during its making. Thankfully, I only just became aware of this recently or I would have been traumatized as a child and the movie would have made a much different list. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Adventures_of_Milo_and_Otis)
4) Little Mermaid. (1989)

It seems that alot of my favorite childhood movies involve dancing and singing. Little Mermaid is no exception. A sassy, independent, red- headed mermaid dreams of being human and falls in love with the handsome Prince Eric. With the help of a flustered and anxious fish and a possibly gay lobster with a French (or Caribbean) accent try to keep Ariel out of trouble. Also noteworthy cameo appearances by: a mentally ill seagull with hoarding tendencies, an overweight French cook with an anger problem and fat evil half octopus, half human villain.
3) What About Bob. (1991).

Still one of my favorite movies today, What About Bob is one of those rare movies from my childhood that I love more each time I watch it. Probably the only movie to make the cross over onto my “top ten movies of all time” list, What ABout Bob introduced me to Bill Murray and since then I have never looked back. (Okay, except maybe when he was the voice of Garfield a couple years ago or when he did Osmosis Jones).

What About Bob taught me some important life lessons:
– that having mental illness and phobias was cool.
– that stalking is socially acceptable.
– that keeping your pet fish in a jar around your neck is an excellent way to travel with beloved pets.
– that trying to communicate to your children with scary sock puppets that are creepy versions of yourself is not cool.
p.s. Someone please tell me where I can get that “Don’t Hassle Me, I’m a Local” t-shirt?!! (wait nevermind, just found it…here for $21.95 http://www.founditemclothing.com/t-shirts/dont-hassle-me-shirt.html …a little pricey, but I’m thinking this may make a good halloween costume)
Here is a clip of one of the many hilarious scenes:
2) Home Alone. (1990)

I never quite got over my crush on Macaulay Kulkin thanks to Home Alone. Today, whenever I see a picture of him, my heart beats a little faster and I spontaneously whisper “I love you Kevin.” I think enough time has past now that I can admit to the fact that I wrote him several fan letters and my dad got me a signed picture of Macaulay for Christmas one year.
But seriously, ever child’s dream. Being forgotten on a family vacation and having free roam of spacious house, free to do what ever you want, eat ice cream until you feel sick, watch rated R movies and sleeping in late. That is, until two menacing (but thankfully idiotic) burglars terrorize the neighborhood and Kevin somehow manages to make some of the most ingenious and painful traps that left audiences grimacing.
1) Newsies. (1992).
My love for Newsies bordered (okay still borders) on obsession. Featuring a young Christian Bale as a homeless streetwise but tenderhearted tough kid and his gang of fellow whippersnappers, selling “paps” on the streets of New York. Accompanied by some of the best choregraphed dancing sequences and heart wrenching songs.
Ask any girl born between approximately 1981 and 1992 if they have seen Newsies. The answer will most likely be “yes” and “YES.” And if it happens to be me you ask…be prepared for a ten minute choreographed rendition of the movie complete with ACCURATE lyrics and horrible leg kicks.
(And yes I still know all the words to this song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Av77_epf3l4)