Monday, August 18, 2014

outfit of the day (featuring Natalie and my new SONY Nex-6)

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Shoes - Pink & Pepper  //  Bag - gift from aunt  //  Skirt - F21 (super old)  //  Top - Cotton On

Over the weekend I caught up with Nat at an insanely good coffeehouse that just opened up a few minutes from my house. We hadn't seen each other since before she left to study abroad in Florence last semester. Yikes. It's fine though because we always pick up right where we've left off. That's one of the top things I look for in a friend, yaknow?

I'm glad we ended up sitting next to each other in honors algebra II way back during freshman year--and that we got into a weird fight where I accused her of stealing my calculator--because Nat's actually one of the few people I've kept in touch with from high school. If you'd told me I'd still be friends with this chick six years later, I wouldn't have believed ya for a second. Because she steals calculators. (On a side note, there are a definitely other people I'd love to catch up with! To anyone who's reading, consider this an invitation to coffee. Preferably at this coffeehouse because their chocolate hazelnut gelato is the best thing I've eaten all summer.)

Afterwards I convinced Nat to help me test out my new Sony NEX-6, which I bought for study abroad. She was mock-miffed because she wasn't "dressed" for the occasion, but casual Natalie is still more stylish than most people around. This gal's going to be in fashion someday, whether at a magazine (she just finished up an internship at Harper's Bazaar!) or on film/TV sets.

I hadn't initially planned on posting an "outfit of the day"--hence dis basic outfit--but it's actually kind of appropriate. Nat and I failed miserably at writing our own style blog during our...sophomore year of high school? I remember attempting photoshoots at our houses, armed with my crappy little camera and lotsa optimism.





Oh high school. You were...interesting. And I think our faces in that last shot make that period of my life seem a lot more carefree than it was? I actually enjoyed those four years for the most part (thanks, drama club!), but tenth grade was my least favorite year by far (thanks, hormones).

As a palate cleanser, I'll end on a much clearer selfie of us as happy, healthy, functioning adults. I feel like I can't call myself "adult" without being sarcastic. But we ARE adults now. Technically.


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Blogging is weird.

I've been thinking about why I started blogging again this summer. Honestly, I've followed a handful of style blogs for half a decade now, and part of me always wanted to make one too. With a blog, I'd be able to present a beautiful, happy, highly-curated version of my life. So that people would like me!!! Haha. There, I've admitted the embarrassing truth. I can't be alone on this. Everyone likes to be liked! I can't stand the thought that there might be people out there who don't like me, or people who I've unintentionally upset. It's like that quote from The Office, where Pam says she doesn't even like the idea that Al-Quaeda hates her. "I don't think they'd hate me if they got to know me," she says.

So back to the original question. Why am I even doing this silly blog thing?

My first answer would be that I'm trying to create an organized record of memories, photos and events to look back on. Facebook dilutes the quality of your photos, so it makes more sense to present my favorites here here via Flickr links. Plus, blogging is a good writing exercise. And I wanted these memory "records" all in one place, minus the random tidbits that clutter my Tumblr.

In that case, why aren't I just writing these things in my journal? The number one reason: I'm lazy. Laaazy. I can get the same thoughts out on a computer in way less time than it'd take to write them out. And anyway, journaling and blogging have two different purposes in my life. Blogs will always be written with an audience in mind, no matter how personally you treat them. I'll never be 100% myself in these posts because part of me (even a subconscious part) will always be thinking about how other people will receive them. This isn't necessarily a bad thing. Basically everyone does this all the time, presenting themselves in carefully-considered ways, either on their Facebook profiles or in face-to-face conversations; social media has just made it more easy. (I kinda alluded to this in my pontification on selfies.)

My journal, on the other hand, is for dark times, incoherent vents, and embarrassing, mushy stuff that I need to get down without worrying about writing quality or judgment. And there are definitely times and places for that kind of writing. (There's an entry in my diary that was written maybe 30 minutes after my first kiss teehee)

I think I'm suddenly questioning my intentions with this blog because some people might see blogging as a narcissistic. But you know what?  I've always loved reading about people, even people I don't know (hence the style blogs I've been reading for years now). So I suppose that's why I don't find it strange to want to share my day-to-day triumphs/frustrations with the worldor in my case, with any friends or family who happen to find my blog.

So there. This blog is for me. And for Future Me, who will not remember a thing about her life if I don't look out for her. I probably didn't need to write a whole essay just to figure that out, but I suppose you can consider this post my statement of purpose for blogging. (I hate doing anything if I can't see the point of it.)

Whether I keep this up for the rest of college, or just the next semester, I think I'll be glad to have something to revisit and remind me of what it was like to be twenty years-young.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Fashion at Fordham: FLASH Magazine Spring/Summer 2014

AKA my attempt at being comfortable in front of a camera

Back in April I volunteered to pose for FLASH, one of Fordham's student fashion magazines. We dragged ourselves out of bed at 7:30 AM on Sunday of Spring Weekend--not really a time when most people are functioning. I have to admit, my friend John (the handsome blonde fellow) and I were starting to regret our life choices as we marched down Fordham Road to the D train.

But man oh man. Being in Chelsea during the early morn was a beautiful way to start the day, and a fun way to cap off the last weekend before finals. Plus we got to shoot on the Highline, which I hadn't seen before despite attending college in NYC for almost two years now. 

As a short, curvyISH girl who's not always happy with her proportions, I'm not very confident about the way I photograph. Like many others, I'm still on the long road towards accepting the way God shaped me. BUT I was pleasantly surprised by these photos. So thanks, FLASH, for featuring all shapes and sizes, and for helping me feel a bit more comfortable in my skin!

And now I present my favorite pictures from the shoot. Some were published in the issue, others are outtakes, and all were taken by the lovely Julie Kim. Click through for larger images!

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Last but not least, a celebratory group picture with the FLASH staff who directed the shoot:

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....and then we went out for French food. La vie est belle.

Friday, August 1, 2014

How to Instagram a Sleepy Kitten

Step One
Realize it isn't everyday a kitten decides to make your arm its bedmate. Soak in the cuteness for a few moments. (Look at its liddow eyeees!) Promptly decide to exploit its cuteness for personal gain.

Step Two
In desperate whispers, ask your boyfriend to retrieve your phone and take some grainy iPhone pics. Pose in a position of feigned sleep. Briefly consider the caption, "taking a quick cat nap!"

Step Three
Of course you weren't happy with the first pic. Your chest is doing weird things. You can barely even tell that it's a kitten next to you.

Ask your ever-patient bf for another picture. "More aerial, please."

Step Four
That last one was...better? Ditch the boyfriend and take matters into your own hands. No more fake sleeping, it's time to fall back on the classic selfie.

But wait, what's this? Oh for goodness sakes...

You cut off the kitty, and you're doing a creepy stare-down with the camera. And NEITHER OF YOU WILL FIT INTO AN INSTAGRAM SQUARE

Step Five
The kitty has relocated to your right calf for further snuggling. Okay this is it. No more selfies with the cat. You were never the star of this show. This instagram is going to be ALL about dat cat.

You snap a pic, but kitty's eyes keep opening and closing sleepily:

Step Six
Pet that little sucker into a blissful, comatose state.

As you pet, the hashtag "#yesallcats" comes to mind. It makes absolutely no sense.
Resolve to work it into the final caption anyway.

Step Seven
The kitty is happier, sleepier, and, most importantly, cuter than ever.

You've earned this pic.

Step Eight
Since you're sleepy now too, you decide to post it in the morning.
(Thank God for hashtag latergram.)

Step Nine
Completely forget to instagram it the next morning.

Audrey Hepburn's perfect day sounds like my perfect future, OR dreaming up a life together

instagram by nicole_franzen

On Tumblr I read a quote by Audrey Hepburn talking about her ideal day, and it looks a lot like what I want in my life:
"It’s going to sound like a thumping bore, but my idea of heaven is [having] Robert and my two sons at home —I hate separations— and the dogs, a good movie, a wonderful meal and great television all coming together.  I’m really blissful when that happens.  [My goal] was not to have huge luxuries.  As a child, I wanted a house with a garden, which I have today.  This is what I dreamed of.  I’d never worry about age if I knew I could go on being loved and having the possibility to love.  If I’m old and my husband doesn’t want me, or my children think me ugly and do not want me—that would be a tragedy.  So it isn’t age or even death that one fears, as much as loneliness and the lack of affection."

Now when I say I love Audrey Hepburn, I mean it. Two summers ago, I read an Audrey biography by Barry Paris and also An Elegant Spirit, the biography written by her son Sean. I instantly related to her simplicity and her need to keep loved ones close by. I suppose all of this was especially appealing to her after a chaotic life of celebrityhood, but I think she wouldn't have minded a life without all that fame so long as it ended in the same way: with slow, peaceful days in Switzerland where she could enjoy good food, flowers, long walks, and all the people she loved most. 

I guess the quote struck me even more because tonight Mario and I were doing that thing where we're both in lovey moods, and we start slyly referring to our future together as if it's a given. Tonight we floated the idea of living in Philly, or at least a suburb outside of it. Philly's ideal because 1. it's a smallish city, and 2. we both want to stay close to our parents. We even imagined we'd need an extra bed for when one of us can't get comfortable enough to sleep; Mario claims he moves around a lot. (I do too, actually. I once punched my aunt in my sleep while we were sharing beds on vacation, whoops)

I'm sure both of us secretly daydream about being famous or something ridiculously ambitious--we both love movies and acting too much not to dream--but you know what? I'd turn down fame, riches, the moon, and flocks of friends if it meant I could just live my entire life with someone I'm mad about by my side, and with my closest friends and family just a short car ride away. Is that corny or what? I stand by it. Corny's good! Audrey really hit it on the head. I could face death and wrinkles so long as I got to grow old without wanting for affection and good company.

Tomorrow Mar's flying off to visit his dad in Minnesota for 18 days, which is partly why I'm suddenly thinking about being away from loved ones. (Yeah yeah yeah 18 days is chump change compared to the months we spend apart during the school year, but it seems a lot longer after a whole summer together.) I can't wait for the day when trips become a couple-activity and not time spent away from each other.