Sunday, December 28, 2014

Who You Call'n Turkey?!

   During the course of my life, I have had several people comment that upon first meeting me they were intimidated.  In fact, I believe the actual word they used was scared.  Due to the amount of times I have actually heard this from people, I have found myself getting paranoid.  Scared?!...of what? How could they be scared of little old me?  What vibe do I give off that could possible unnerve people?
   Ok, so I may not be the most smiley person upon a first encounter.  As I've stated before I need a genuine reason to smile.  I can't help if my everyday expression comes off as a, "cold, dark stare." Maybe it's just how I pluck my eyebrows.  Besides, it's kinda my signature thing.  I also acknowledge I can be a tad decisive.  One may even define it as pushy, verging on bossy at times.  I like to view it as confident but whatever, "potato, potato."  
   I am pleased to report that most individuals who confessed to being, "scared," of me upon meeting, are some of my closest friends.  We are able to laugh about the, "cold, dark stare," now, virtually rendering it powerless.  That is of course, until it is needed and unfortunately, sometimes, it is needed.
   While the holidays are defined as a rather magical time of year they can also be extremely stressful. Working in the field of retail, I feel extra exposed to not only my own holiday stress, but the anxieties of the general public as well.  People seem worried about hosting parties, making impressions, money, traveling, and most of all time.  About a month into the season, I begin to question if anyone is really enjoying this time of year?  Could it be that everyone is just faking a, "Merry Christmas?"
   Here is where the, "cold, dark stare," comes in to play.  With all this stress going on I find it nearly impossible to fake that, "jolly," smile.  Add the rather confrontation manner of the general public this time of year and all bets are off on my facial expressions.  
   However, being female I think I'm expected to always be smiling.  In addition, I believe women are generally expected to be nice and agreeable.  These are all admirable qualities that I possess when the situation calls for it.  Unfortunately, regarding certain scenarios, I also possess the opposite of these qualities.  Due to this fact, I have been subjected to certain confrontations that may not have always made me appear, "lady like."  
   I guess my overall point here is that for many, the holiday season can be stressful.  The key word being, MANY.  So in order to avoid a, "confrontation Christmas," it is key to regard the situations of others and don't take things too personally.  A, "cold, dark stare," may just be an individual zoning out about their personal financial woes.  A pushy request could just be someone desperate to make the right decision.  Finally, I hope someday the public will understand that women are not always smiley.  We have a lot of stress too!  I mean, who else is going to clean the house, do the shopping, wrap the gifts, cook the meal, host the party, and remember the cat litter in between shifts at work.  It is hard to remember to smile.  Maybe, if I could just remember to stop swearing so much...

Coat:  Tulle
Sweater Vest:  Thrifted  (Savers - Ugly Sweater Rack)
Shirt:  7 For All Mankind
Jeans:  Kasil
Boots:  Born
Purse:  Vintage  (John Romain)
Mittens:  Handmade  (Purchased at a craft fair)
Bracelet:  Free People

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Silver and Gold

   I bet you thought the title of this post was a nod to the Burl Ives Christmas song!  Actually, that was not the tune I was going for.  However, it's a happy coincidence this post will be published around the a-fore mentioned holiday.  The title, Silver and Gold, is really a tribute to a song I learned during my years as a girl scout.  Yep, it's a reference to a little jingle that goes like this..."Make new friends, but keep the old.  One is silver, and the other, gold."  Sound familiar to anyone?  Anyone?, huh, well it sure made an impression on me.
   It's strange what I find myself remembering.  For example, I cannot for the life of me remember the name of my fourth grade teacher.  Yet, I remember almost every lyric to my girl scout songs.  I have no recollection of my former address from ten years ago.  However, I can recall the exact shirt I was wearing the time I had my first real kiss.  What do these selected memories say about me?  Well, how much time do you have?
   The reason the song, "Make New Friends," has been on my mind lately is because that's exactly what I have been doing and it's kind of a big deal for me.  Actually, I think it's a big deal for anyone over the age of thirty, considering at this age most of us are too consumed by other obligations such as career, family, and of course blogging to make friends.  Taking into account how busy life can get for the average adult, where is one supposed to find the time to make new friends?
   Recently, I went to a gathering to celebrate the birthday of a fairly new friend.  The above outfit was what I wore to the event.  As I was getting ready, I found myself feeling giddy at the prospect of a new, "real," friendship.  At one point, I wondered what the big deal was?  I've had the good fortune of having many great friends.  Why was I so excited about this?  Upon further inspection, I decided my excitement was a result of my age.  I recognized it's hard to make new friends in one's thirties.  Not only do I not have a lot of free time, but I have no idea where to meet people.  I hardly think it's acceptable to walk up to someone who looks interesting and say, "Hey, you look cool.  Do you want to hit Starbucks for a latte sometime?"  This approach simply does not work...does it?  I guess I can thank God I'm not dating, although I suspect this tactic may be more effective in that social realm.
   Now don't get me wrong, I am extremely fond of the friends I have had for years.  I am very lucky to have a massively supportive, diverse, and inspiring group of individuals that I am honored to call friends.  I guess that's why this particular tune has stuck with me through the years.  While I am always excited to meet new people, I will never forget those who have shared so much of my life.  
   Regarding fashion specifically, I will always remember the lyric, "one is silver, and the other, gold."  Which, you know I love both of if you have even glanced at the jewelry I have featured in this blog.  Actually, the concept of mixing silver and gold accessories is a huge trend right now in high fashion.  So, when you really think about it us girl scouts of the 1980's were rather prophetic with our music and had a whole lot more to offer than just kick ass cookies.

Jacket:  Hazel
Skirt:  Thrifted
Boots:  Thrifted
Purse:  Vintage (John Romain)

Sunday, December 14, 2014

"World Frozen Over with Over-Exposure"

   First of all, if you recognize the title of this post as a lyric to a Soul Asylum song we either already are friends, or should become them fast.  Upon photographing the last image pictured, I was instantly bummed to see how overexposed the shot turned out.  However, the more I looked at it, the more I began to believe this accident was a blessing in disguise.  I actually quite like the white, "wasteland like," background this error created.  With the addition of the fingerless gloves, I feel like this picture could be straight out of one of the many post apocalyptic novels I entertain myself with. Who knew the end of the world could look this glamorous? 
   Going back to the topic of Soul Asylum, winter is now upon us and often it's this time of year that I get the urge to start buying music.  I find myself wanting to hole up in my house where it's warm.  I long to put on my headphones and daydream away the everyday adult stresses we all have to endure.  I remember back in high school when albums were released it was a big event.  Several times my friends and I would drive to the nearest record store on the exact release date of an album.  I even remember attending a midnight release party for a Peal Jam album where myself and many other high school and college aged individuals stood in line outside of the store excitedly bonding over our favorite PJ tunes, images, and memories.
   I miss these times of bonding with complete strangers over our passions for a lyric, a guitar riff, or a certain enthusiastic "HEY!" or if you're Jim Morrison, "YEAH!" in a song.  I miss being in a record store and smelling the incense, hearing the clack, clack, clack as people flip through the CDs, seeing the fantastic images of icons I adored plastered all over the walls, and lastly trying to catch the attention of the cute long haired dude working the check out counter.  I recall one of my favorite record stores in Fargo, ND set up standing ash trays all around the store allowing people to smoke while flipping through their amazing vinyl collection.  This particular store was one of my favorites because it contained a bead shop as well.  One could go there to pick up Pink Floyd, the makings of a new necklace, and in the process smoke and loiter with like minded people.  For a college aged art major, it was heaven.  
   Alas, this kind of establishment is a nonexistent thing in the age of downloading music.  There are no more midnight album release parties.  Stores no longer collage their walls with rock god posters, and I dare you to even try to light up a cigarette outside of a record store these days.  One is likely to be lectured on the street.  The times have definitely changed, but the music thankfully remains and can always transport me back to these memories I adore.
   I recently went back to the site of that Fargo record shop.  Sadly, it's now a comic book and gaming store.  Interestingly enough, there was still a long haired dude working the check out counter.

Coat:  kensie
Jeans:  Silver Jeans
Shoes:  Naturalizer
Purse:  Gift made by my Mom  
Hat:  Thrifted
Fingerless Gloves:  Columbia
Necklace:  Thrifted

(Do to the rather challenging temperatures outside, Little House of Haute will only be posting on Sundays until further notice.)

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Make it a Grande, Please.

      Ah Choo Wa Wa! it be cold out!  I often joke with friends that living in South Dakota is similar to life on the tundra.  Out of pure curiosity, I looked up the exact definition of the word tundra.  It read," a vast, flat, treeless Arctic region."  I guess I've been wrong all along.  It turns out I'm actually living on the tundra.  This explains a lot.
   I often find myself admiring other fashion blogs.  Sometimes, this admiration morphs into self deprecation.  I wonder things like, why don't I dress in skirts year round?  How come I don't have more designer apparel in my personal collection?  Lastly, how can I attract more reader's attention? Honestly, the answers are simple.  I don't wear skirts year round because I could literally freeze to death if my car decided to die on a country road.  I don't have all designer apparel because, working at a local greenhouse, I simply can't afford it.  Even if I did have the cash, I don't have immediate access to such stores.  Heck, I'm still hoping South Dakota will someday acquire an Anthropologie! Not an unreasonable request in my mind.  The one question that still remains is, how do I attract more readers to my blog?
   I suspect there are many other fashion minded females who live in rather challenging locations.  I also believe there is a large number of women who enjoy the, "sport," of thrifting as much as I do.  I will admit the vast majority of my wardrobe is thrifted.  Often, on this blog, I do not credit items as this because I think it to be more helpful to readers to define the brand.  I guess I always assume one could then troll websites like ebay or Etsy for these specific items, (or am I the only weirdo who does this?)  One of my favorite challenges is to go through old issues of Free People catalogs and then search online for the items I missed out on.  So far I have been fairly successful, but am still trying to locate the, "Mountian Muff Woolenstock Slippers," from the Holiday 2006 issue. Someday they will be mine...oh yes.
   While the internet can remedy the challenge of limited access to desirable stores, I cannot alter the winters in SD.  Therefore, instead of trendy skirts I anticipate a lot of future posts featuring blue jeans, UGG boots, and parkas.  So, basically the, "same ol' same ol'."  Except, life is not the same old thing, because the other day I baffled my barista by ordering a grande sized vanilla latte, instead of a tall!  Yep, I'm just baby steps from hazelnut.

Sweater Jacket:  Thrifted  
Jeans:  Miss Me
Slippers:  Purchased at Target
Purse:  Thrifted
Scarf:  Thrifted (Handmade)
Legwarmers:  Handmade item purchased in Grand Marais, MN
Ring:  Purchased at Craft Fair
Sunglasses:  COACH

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Lusting for a Landslide

   As we all know it was recently election season.  It's at this time that suddenly everyone seems to have a die hard knowledge, and opinion, of the happenings in their individual state.  I include myself in this observation.  I guiltily admit that during the rest of the year I find myself putting more thought into things like what I'm going to scrounge up for dinner, and how long will I have to save up for that COACH clutch I've been eyeing, rather than the ethics surrounding the EB-5 scandal in South Dakota.  Not that political issues aren't important to me.  I just find myself getting especially sucked into the hype at this time of year.  
   I find that this kind of, "mob mentality," is often evident when regarding the fashion industry.  For example, the introduction of the UGG boot, the Vera Bradley mini knapsack, and of course, especially in South Dakota, anything that possesses the COACH logo.  Again, I'm still calculating how long it may take to save up for that clutch.  There's just something about the praise of these items, from our peers, that often causes an individual to feel that burning to desire to...what, keep up?
   I think it may be time for myself, and many other fashion minded individuals, to face the fact that fashion is an infinitely evolving trend.  Due to this fact, it is impossible for the average middle class fashionista to, "keep up."  Instead, I believe one should focus their goals on the current image they wish to project to the public.  Not only do I believe it is possible to create a persona through one's wardrobe, I think it's an excellent way to avoid being overwhelmed by the trends and pressured by, "mob mentality," into purchasing items that one will never wear anyway.
   Despite the plan to avoid peer pressure, I will state it is often very satisfying to get the approval of others when regarding one's wardrobe.  Due to the wonders of the internet, it's possible to seek out this approval on a grander scale.  People create things like style blogs, (eh-hem,) and join websites such as, "Chictopia." This is a social network of fashion minded individuals who post their looks on the internet and then vote on these posts in order to establish...huh.  Um, I'm really not sure what I've been voting on, but I am a member of this site and I do enjoy voting on the individuals that I think possess the, "chicest," looks of the day.  I often see people on this website who have over 400 votes.  400 VOTES!  The highest I have managed to collect has been 13 and I was near, "over the moon," at that number.  There is just something about the idea that 13 people I didn't know voted to name me the, "high priestess of fashion"...or something like that.  
   I often question why I care what people think.  What do I get out of a bunch of strangers judging me?  I suspect it's the fact that I take pride in the confidence I have in being judged.  I mean hey, 13 votes is 13 votes.  Don't count me out as a contender for that landslide yet.

Sweater:  Vintage (Acquired from the ugly sweater rack at Savers!)
Shorts:  Thrifted
Boots:  Vintage
Purse:  Thrifted
Purse Charm:  Free People
Sunglasses:  COACH

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Bird Watching

   The temperatures have dropped and it definitely feels like winter has arrived.  Despite the fact that I was able to wear short sleeves one last time the day these photographs were taken, I was already starting to see the sure signs of a season we have all learned to dread.  
   The change of seasons starts rather subtle.  All of a sudden it's still dark when I wake in the morning.  There's a chill in the air as I leave the house to go to work.  The greenhouse I'm employed at has traded in its' collection of bright flowers for the earthy tones of pumpkins and gourds.  There is the smell of straw bales in the air.  While I enjoy the cozy ambiance of fall, I find myself dreading the short and frigid days of the season to follow.  However, there is no stopping it and looking back at these photographs of the last day of short sleeves makes me already long for the start of spring. 
   I knew fall was officially over when I noticed the squirrel we adopted at the greenhouse had stopped eating the corn we left out for him.  At first many suspected our store cat was responsible for the disappearance of our furry friend.  However, I have always argued our cat is an angel and incapable of such an atrocity.  Besides, I have explained multiple times to our feline companion, we do not eat our friends.  
   It was later noted that all of the squirrels in the neighborhood had simultaneously gone, "missing." To which I replied again, our cat is an angel and would never eat ALL of the squirrels in the neighborhood!...maybe the mice, and a rabbit or two.
   Interestingly enough, at the request of a senior coworker, I have continued to put corn out for our missing squirrel in the hopes that he will inexplicably stumble home from whatever shenanigans he has been up to in his absence.  While we have not seen our missing companion, we do seem to be feeding some nocturnal beast which I am fairly sure may show up someday and expect me to become it's mommy.  With my luck I suspect I have been caring for a badger for the past two weeks. Hey, even ferocious badgers aren't above a handout when they're cold and hungry.
   The second reason I can confirm it's winter is the mouse living in my car.  At first, it didn't register to me what kept gnawing at the caps on my water bottles.  I would sit down in my vehicle, glance at the beverage I had left in the cup holder over night and absent mindedly wonder, why the lid was heavily serrated  around the edge?  Of course, I wondered this while slugging down heavy doses of, what I now refer to as ice cold, "mouse water."  I didn't realize I had a new roommate until I left a bag of cat food in the car overnight and woke up to find it with a shredded. gaping hole.  My first horrified thought was, "My God!  I've been drinking, "mouse water!"  
   I suppose, due to the size of the hole in the bag of cat food, and the amount of subsequent damage the, "mouse," has now inflicted to the interior of my car I could reason that the, "badger," I have been feeding corn too has now moved into my vehicle.  I will state I feel confident it is not a bird since I have not seen any of them around for quite a while.  
   In fact, the only bird I have seen lately is the one I inadvertently, "flipped," in the second to last picture of this post.  While this was not on purpose, I would like to direct this gesture to the upcoming season of winter and the hardships it creates for all the birds, squirrels, badgers, mice, and vehicle upholsteries.  

Shirt:  Vintage
Jeans:  Silver Jeans
Shoes:  Naturalizer
Bracelets:  Cuff:  Leather Bangles:  Gift from a friend.
Sunglasses:  COACH