Sunday, May 25, 2014

Sweet Surprises

   We all know that life is full of surprises.  Unfortunately, not all surprises are welcome.  Being a person that considers herself a bit of a control freak, I am not partial to surprises.  I am fond of compartmentalizing my days into comfortable routines that include little, to no unexpected events.  Some people would define this as boring.  I think of it as stable.  I wonder what a therapist would think?
   As a result of this type of controlled atmosphere the surprises in my world are fairly small.  In fact, one could almost say, insignificant to someone not paying attention.  However, as a person who pays a lot of attention to the small details in life I tend to notice these minute surprises and get a kind of thrill from them.  An example of this happened on the day I took these photos.
   On this particular day, I decided to have a, "me," day.  I almost have to laugh when writing this because most of the days I have off work I spend as, "me," days but this one was different.  This day I decided to spend entirely with just me, instead of my typical lunch or coffee with friends or family.  Upon finishing this photo shoot, I sat outside in the beautiful weather pondering what my, "me," day would consist of.  Suddenly, it came to me!  What is my favorite extra curricular activity?  Starbucks!... no wait, the other one.  Thrifting! and I find nothing more enjoyable than trolling for treasures by myself on a lazy afternoon.  Such activities have largely allowed me to pursue my other growing passion, this style blog.  So shopping can't be that bad, can it?
   So, I was off for the afternoon with a plan that adhered to my comfortable routine but allowed me to look for small surprises.  Finally, I found one and it is pictured on the collar of my jacket in the second to last photograph of this post.  I paid $1.99 for this sweet little porcelain brooch and could not have been more pleased with it.  I think it is the perfect icing for any outfit this spring and summer.  
   For an individual as controlled as I have become, the art of thrifting provides a small and inexpensive thrill.  Every time I stumble upon a sweet surprise like this vintage brooch I remind myself that, not all surprises are scary.  Some even make your outfit look better.  Maybe next time at Starbucks I will order the tall vanilla macchiato rather than my standard vanilla latte.  Of course, I don't want to upset my barista's routine.

Jacket:  Elevenses
Jeans:  Silver Jeans
Boots:  UGG australia
Purse:  Miss Albright
Brooch:  Vintage (Avon)
Ring:  Banana Republic

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Bonding with Bonamassa

   As I've gotten older, going to a concert means different things than it used to.  I will admit in my twenties going to a concert meant seeking the most extreme show possible, drinking as much alcohol as was affordable, and wearing the tightest outfit legal for public display.  Thank God I didn't have a style blog back then!  Thinking back on these, "wild times," I find myself reminiscing about...well, nothing.  I don't remember many of these concerts.  I gotta state this fact makes me irritated at my younger self because, "oh, the stories I should have!"  Often, I say to people, "yeah, I've seen Radiohead," and "sure, the Bowie concert was awesome," and don't expand on these statements. This is because many times the only reason I remember seeing them was because I saved the ticket stubs to prove I was there.  
   Now in my ripe old thirties, I have changed a lot of habits and with these changes have come significantly less, but more memorable concerts.  An example of this is an evening I recently spent with Joe Bonamassa and my father.
   Quite honestly when my father approached me about attending this concert I had never heard Bonamassa's music before.  I recognized his name from my days working in a music department shelving jazz albums.  I mean, who can forget a name like Bonamassa?  It kinda rolls off the tongue.  So upon the night of the concert I mentally prepared myself for a mild evening of jazz with dad.  Boy, could I not have been more wrong!  This show was rocking, and I don't mean rocking, "sixty something," dad style.  Besides my, "sixty something," dad grew up rocking to groups like, "The Doors," and, "Cream," so when he told me it was going to be rocking I should have known to listen.  Well listen I eventually did, and the accomplished guitar style of Joe Bonamassa blew me away.  I found the show to be entertaining, exciting, and sometimes even a bit emotional.  I would highly recommend anyone interested in guitar music to check out Bonamassa.  You will remember his name.  It kinda just rolls off the tongue.
   However, what I will remember most about this particular concert was how I felt about my evening out with dad.  Now that I am older and beyond the typical concert cliche behavior, I feel worthy to go and experience an adult evening with my father as his friend, not just his, "kid."  So that's what I did and I had a wonderful time hanging out with him.  A time that I will always remember.

Jacket:  Vintage
Jeans:  Guess
Heels:  Thrifted
Purse:  French Connection
Ring:  Thrifted


Sunday, May 11, 2014

Let It Be

    For those of us employed in the horticulture industry, spring is often a stressful time.  Don't get me wrong, I love springtime.  I cannot describe the feeling of seeing the actual sun after months of short overcast days constantly filled with the promise of snow.  
   On the other hand, despite how emotionally draining it is, winter and the dreary weather conditions it presents allows those of us in industries of seasonal employment a much appreciated breather.  So while most people in the Midwest dread the months of January and February, many of us employed at landscaping companies and greenhouses see this time as a welcome vacation.  Do I dislike the unflattering shapeless parkas I am forced to wear in public in order to survive in subzero daytime temperatures?  Do I dread, even the most basic outdoor tasks, like filling my car's tank at the gas station for fear my hand may freeze to the pump?  Do I loathe the never ending howl of the winter winds when I am curled up in bed trying to get some peaceful sleep?  My answer to all of these questions is of course, yes.  However, in the winter a person employed in the horticulture industry is able to go somewhere, other than work, in the daytime.  In the winter, not only can this person have the free time to spend anywhere they like, they can fill their gas tank with the notion that they can make plans to go yet, somewhere else of their own choosing.  Finally, during the brutally frozen nights of January, someone employed in the horticulture industry can go to bed being annoyed by the disturbing sounds of the howling wind, but consoled by the fact that they probably can stay comfortably under their blankets until late the next morning.  Yes, nothing says vacation to a greenhouse employee like winter in the Midwest.
   Alas, those lazy days are long gone and not only people, but plants, have emerged from a particularly heavy slumber.  I have to admit, I am excited to get back into a routine at work.  I always look forward to spring and the beauty that returns with it.  I am excited to see the familiar faces of enthusiastic gardeners and friends.  This enthusiasm is contagious and with it comes the frenzied masses looking for a colorful beginning to their vacation season.  So, while a small piece of me mourns the passing of my own vacation, I am ready to help others begin theirs'.  In answer to all the stresses that assisting an exuberant public can bring I say, "Let It Be."  I even have the bracelet to remind me.

Jacket:  Lux
Skirt:  Thrifted
Boots:  UGG australia
Purse:  Isabella Fiore 
Belt:  Vintage
Sunglasses:  Vintage

Sunday, May 4, 2014


 Can I possibly admit that I named this post after the lipstick shade I was wearing that day?  Have I gotten that lame, or have cosmetic companies just gotten that good at defining their target audience?  I have to admit I have always picked makeup shades due to their names, not necessarily their compatibility to my skin tone.  So what if I look like a clown in Rimmel's Lasting Finish lipstick 060.  I am, "Independent," just like the tube states!
   Okay, I will admit this post and it's lipstick namesake are just a happy coincidence to the real reason I used the title, "Independent."  The real reason was because on this particular day I finally figured out how to use the self timer on my camera.  I love this new found freedom! 
   So far, I have discovered one of the most difficult things about writing a style blog is finding a photographer to take my pictures.  Especially since spring has finally arrived and soon all of us employed in the horticulture industry are going to be up to our eyeballs in serving gung-ho gardeners.  Recently, it has become very clear to me that almost everyone I currently socialize with is somehow related to this industry.  As a result, no one has time to shoot poses between slinging plants.  I found myself becoming distraught with the idea that I may not be able to keep up with this new found hobby.  "What will my public think," I found myself wondering.  Then I remembered my parents do know I am busy at this time of year.
   However, I was driven to keep up with this new commitment.  I find myself looking forward to picking each new outfit, writing every new post, and neatly cataloging the silly little events that happen in my everyday life.  I figure someday I will appreciate looking back on these posts and the content within them. I was delighted to find a quick internet search for my camera manual allowed me to figure out how to take my own pictures for this blog.  I am proud to state that all of the photos above were taken by myself.
  While I still plan on periodically using a separate photographer, I am thrilled with the freedom my self timed pictures will allow me.  Not only can I take pictures at any time now, I am able to pose without feeling self conscious about an audience.  Even if this audience is composed of just one individual.  I already feel like I look more natural in these shots and I am confident that with practice they will only get better.  You see, I believe I can do it all because I am an, "Independent," woman.

Button Down Shirt:  Vintage
Shirt:  Mossimo Supply Co
Jeans:  Kasil Workshop
Boots:  ESPRIT
Purse:  Banana Republic
Headband:  Free People
Earrings:  Vance Kitira
Lipstick:  Rimmel's Lasting Finish (060 Independent)