Lately on Netflix

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We may not be in the midst of a polar snow storm around here, but this week has still felt dreadfully dreary. Luckily, I have found my respite in Netflix. Here are a few of my recently enjoyed Netflix picks, for your viewing pleasure.

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#1- Frank

Synopsis: An aspiring musician joins a band of eccentrics led by an enigmatic singer — who wears a fake head — and his unstable girlfriend.

My Take: As someone who appreciates both good films, good acting and good music this movie ticked all my boxes. With a very colorful cast and an entertaining, as well as touching, storyline this movie had me laughing from the get go. Domhnall Gleeson’s performance as a suburban social media enthused keyboardist and Michael Fassbender’s utterly lovable and terribly gifted, yet tragically tortured, Frank are both rather endearing. As a former suburbanite with a slew of colorful characters playing a role in my sordid creative past, I can relate to Gleeson’s character all the while loathing his creative direction and constant need for validation. Yet again, is that not a part of all artistry? The fine line between the acceptance of appreciation and the need for validation. Also, a giant paper maché head has never looked so good. Thank you Mr. Fassbender.

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#2- Death Comes To Pemberley

Synopsis: Adapted from P.D. James’s sequel to Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice,” the tale continues as Elizabeth and Darcy celebrate six years of marriage.

My Take: As an Austen loving mega fan, it’s no surprise that this BBC mini series is at the top of my list. Period costumes, check. Great classic novel characters, check. English countryside, check. The plight of love and tragedy, check. Men in tights and top hats, check. You catch my drift.

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#3- The Imposter

Synopsis: An investigator sets out to unravel a mystery about a 13-year-old boy who vanished in Texas only to show up three years later in Spain.

My Take: Holy guacamole, this documentary had me riled up and unable to sleep after my post midnight viewing. Is it just me, or is there something completely vague and eerie about both Frédéric Bourdin’s detachment and the less than emotional account of Nicholas Barclay’s mother? Gripping. Much like Serial, it makes for great break room conversation.

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#4- Mental

Synopsis: After his wife has a nervous breakdown, a philandering politician hires a “nanny” he finds on the side of the road to care for his five daughters.

My Take: I adore Toni Colette, she’s absolutely brilliant,  so needless to say I adored this movie. As someone who fully embraces my ‘not-so-normal’ tendencies, I can relate to these characters and simultaneously detest the straight laced society that pigeon holes them in to a corner. You’ll laugh, and then you’ll laugh some more. Added Bonus: There’s a pretty charming nod to ‘The Sound of Music’, another heartwarming female driven film.

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#5- Broadchurch

Synopsis: After a young boy is murdered in the small seaside town of Broadchurch, local detectives Ellie Miller and Alec Hardy are assigned the mysterious case.

My Take: This series just added to my desire to move across the pond while simotanesouly reminded me why I never pursued a career in law enforcement. With a fully stocked cast of characters, this well played story will keep you guessing until the end. Attention Dr. Who Lovers: The Doctor’s in the house but you won’t be spotting any phone booth’s in this crime drama. Cell phones are all the rage.

I just realized every option above either deals with Mental Illness and Murder or, in most cases, both. To liven up the scene post viewing, it would be the perfect time to finally join me in re-watching every episode of Friends. Also, just a reassurance, I am neither mentally ill or murderous.

Lately on Netflix

#TBT: Self Deprecation and Bangin’ Style

Self-deprecation: the act of belittling, undervaluing, or disparaging oneself, or being excessively modest. It can be used in humor and tension release.

That very definition pretty much sums up my personality as a whole. I have learned that finding the ability to laugh at ones self is quite possibly the most freeing power to possess as an adult. In a study of Self-deprecation I give you “Exhibit A.”: my elementary school experience.

The Saga of Bad, Bad Bangs

3rd Grade: The Age of Innocence

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At the start of my 3rd Grade Year I was fresh off the boat (or 5 day long car ride) back from my parents 2 year stint in Mexico as missionaries. Naturally, I was under a great deal of culture shock; not so much because of the culture, but rather because of my lack of proper American 90’s fashion appreciation. You see, I had just spent 2 years in a rural valley town in a remote region known for Tequila production. I had two forms of second hand cultural engagement: Spanish Tele-novas and TV Land. Somehow these genre’s collided to create a very perplexed Brady Bunch obsessed Spanish speaking gringo; much like the retired couples we often visited in the mountain arts district of rural Jalisco. This period of 90’s cultural detachment produced a sun bleached young Jane Fonda doppelgänger of a 3rd grader. Once we returned to the states, I distinctly remember shopping the midnight sale at Bacon’s with my mother where I enthusiastically paired this velvet flower power top with some kick butt lavender bell bottoms. Did I mention I was also wearing jelly platform sandals and socks. If only you could see the lower half of my ensemble. I’m pretty sure this look would make even the most outlandish Asian street bloggers proud.

4th Grade: The Age of Unrequited Love

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It is both sad and frightfully funny to recount my 4th Grade experience. I shared so many similarities with the infamous Helga Patake. A terrible blunt bang cut (probably produced by either my mother or grandmother), an affinity for pastel ensembles, an ever impressive statement brow, and the immeasurable love for one (or sometimes several) unknowing male recipients. If only I had known that this would be the year that one of the most popular boys would ashamedly recount his love for me across the lunch room. If only I had known that this was not a cruel prank but rather a true life ‘She’s All That’ elementary school scandal. If only I would not have worn my Easter dress to picture day. If only my mother had bought me that Old Navy fleece vest instead of the B.U.M. target knockoff version. If only Target had been as cool in 4th grade as it is now, and Old Navy was just a poor man’s Target. If only, if only….

5th Grade: The Age of The Sweater Sets

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As the years went on, my hair began to lose its golden luster and a mousey brown began to set in. This worried me, but I trusted that my newly acquired fashion statements would add the touch of femininity that I so lacked. Enter the sweater set. Actually enter every type of matching set known to the 90’s. Pooh Bear overall’s and matching sneakers, Tweety Bird Tees and shorts, tie dye crop tops and spandex bike shorts, cow print faux fur pocketed jean vest and matching cow pocketed jean shorts, star spangled tees and matching sandals, matching iridescent sweat suits… you catch my drift. My plea for an Old Navy shopping spree was finally answered and on my birthday I found the ultimate fashion statement, a hot pink zip off maxi-mini sweat skirt with floral embroidery. I knew this was the closest my mother would let me come to the midriff baring Christina Augilera ‘genie in a bottle’ statement. 7th Heaven had just come on T.V. and old women often stopped me in the grocery store mistaking me for the young Beverly Mitchell. My baby sitter, unlike my protective mother, let us watch  MTV’s TRL countdown every day after we got off the bus and my affinity for a leather clad Ricky Martin and peroxide blonde Lance Bass began to blossom with every shake of a bon bon and over zealous boy band hand gesture. I joined the dance team and as we performed at the local malls I realized that my dreams of TRL level stardom just may come true with a little more Old Navy shopping a dramatic flip of my blunt bangs. I had officially become your typical American Girl.

P.S. Yes, I had an American Girl look-alike doll with matching child sized ensemble. Yes I lustfully flipped through every American Girl catalogue, wishing I looked that angelic as I slept next to my doll in our not so matching pajamas. I was more of a Josephina with Samantha sensibilities, a sunny Molly disposition and a Felicity vigor for fashion.

6th Grade: The Age of Boyhood

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Boy oh boy, was 6th grade a struggle. While watching the last season on Game of Thrones, as pre-teen Bran began to age, my cousin and I came to a very astonishing realization. I was always bothered by the fact that young Bran Stark reminded me of someone, but despite the struggle to connect the dots I just couldn’t place the resemblance. Finally, during the siege of one territory or another, as his eyes rolled back in to his head I stood up in astonishment and shouted “I’ve go it, I’ve got it Bran is me in elementary school!”. Thus the inspiration for this post and walk down the lane of terrible bang’s past.

Sixth grade was a muddle of target clearance tee’s, Mudd jeans, and classic addidas sneakers. This year I also acquired a powder blue rain coat that I managed to wear every day, come rain or shine or 98 degree Ohio Valley humidity. Things like deodorant, shaving and hair care were starting to become a priority, however despite the massive amounts of Lip Smackers and Bath & Body Work’s that I hoarded it seemed that a feminine touch was as far away as Britney Spear’s level of stardom.

6th Grade Pt. 2: The Age of Double Trouble

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Two very bad things happened at the second half of 6th Grade. The Parent Trap was on constant repeat on The Disney Channel and my school began to offer a second school photo ‘Spring Session’.

As I watched The Parent Trap for the one-hundred-and-third time I had a revelation. To avoid a very terrible yearbook fiasco like my last, I would take a cue from my favorite twins and go for the good old Annie James style and chop my hair off to a perky shoulder length blunt cut. I knew I was no hair dresser, so to help my mom out I went ahead and cut one side so that the stylist could even it out and make me look exactly like an adorable Lindsay Lohan. Except, my mother was not all too please that she had to make an emergency hair appointment and my cut actually came out looking less like the 90’s parent trap version and a little more like the Parent Trap circa 1961. Despite the hiccup, the big day rolled around I was ready. Bangs or no bangs, I decided I was going to rock my best ‘Daddy owns a vineyard in Sonoma’ style and flash that plaid clad, beaming snaggle toothed grin and blingin’ Mudd watch with a true Annie James behind the ear hair tuck. Again, 6th grade was a struggle.

7th Grade: The Age of ‘The Rachel’

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Although I wasn’t usually allowed to watch Friends, I was fully aware of ‘The Rachel’ trend and I had every intention of duplicating that charming “I’m a sexy waitress” look. My hairdresser agreed that a layered cut would be good for my thick hair and I discovered that not all haircuts are made equal. I also discovered brow waxing, foundation, mascara and Mary Kay lipgloss. On picture day my best friend and I snuck to the girls bathroom and used her battery powered curling iron, which she hid in her locker, to give our bangs that extra ‘oomph’ they so desired. We then sealed the deal with a heavy mist of Tresemme hairspray and a heavy coat of Mary Kay’s ‘Beach Bronze’ lipgloss. I was sure 7th grade was to be the best year yet.

Later that summer, at church camp, my friends performed an intervention. I was informed that my bangs were ruining my life and that it was time to grow them out. My bangs were then promptly braided back into corn rows. Because several of my friends were Puerto Rican and very skilled in the art of hair styling, I thought this to be a suitable solution to my life’s greatest problem. Despite the fact that my scalp was scalded that summer and required me to slather aloe in between my corn rows and sleep in a do-rag, I began to truly understand what Britney Spears meant as she sand “Not a girl, not yet a woman”. 8th grade was full of butterfly hair clips, more corn rows and bobby pins; but by 9th Grade I had realized the power of a side part and bangs were nothing but a horrible, painful memory.

Attention Mothers Everywhere: Do not, I repeat DO NOT, give your little girl bangs unless you want her to A.) Repel potential male suitors long through middle school and avoid teenage pregnancy all together, B.) Learn how to deal with bullies from first hand experience, C.) Befriend the less-than-popular studious types who also have bangs or D.) Develop into a fully formed and emotionally un-wrecked human being whose self esteem does not derive from their outward appearance, but from the power they posses within to rise above their limitations.

In other words give your girl bangs, she’ll hate you for the next 16-20 years, but by the time she’s 26 she may just thank you via an inspiring and well written blog post.

#TBT: Self Deprecation and Bangin’ Style

Varsity Blues

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A couple of summers ago I visited a church yard-sale and came away with this vintage varsity jacket, a matching vintage varsity sweater, and an Incan rug boasting the figure of a caravan of pack llamas amongst the Peruvian mountains. When a very sweet middle aged woman saw me carrying out this jacket she shouted out with joy, explaining that it was her daughter’s and she had been on the Seneca Flag Team. Obviously, I already knew this. Next, this sweet woman excitedly snapped a photo of me on her iPhone and texted it to Lori, the former color guard champion of Seneca High.

Sadly, the matching sweater was stolen last year by either some teenage punks or a homeless man during a photo-shoot in the alley. As the sweater was unattended at the time of its disappearance, I like to think that it was the latter prospect. One day I fully expect to pass a homeless Seneca High fan in my red varsity sweater and I will beam with pride. Not for an alma mater but rather because I know Lori would be proud and that she’s probably out there somewhere reminiscing about the flag flying glory days of ol’ high school.

To create this look, I pulled the Piperlime sequined pants that I purchased as a part of my Cold Spring Capsule Collection. You can read more about my capsule collection here and here!

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NewAlbany106Photos By: Danielle Martin of Ch.25

Varsity Jacket: (vintage) Similar Here or Here, Shirt: (vintage) Similar Here, Pants: Piperlime, Shoes: (last season) Similar Here or Here

Varsity Blues

NYFW: My Essentials

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In prepping for NYFW, I have to put a lot of thought into my wardrobe situation. Rather than paying to check a bag and risking losing it, which I dealt with this summer, I am going to try and cram my entire week’s worth of ensembles into my carry on. With the help of the packing gods and a few tricks, this just may be possible!

Rather than packing a heavy winter coat, I plan on wearing my fave leopard stunner on the plane and packing several thicker sweaters (seen here, and here) in my carry on. I recently purchased these boots in hopes to work them in to my Cold Spring Capsule Collection and wear them throughout my NYFW escapades. With a few other key pieces, I just might be able to bypass the bag check all together! Screen Shot 2015-01-07 at 10.53.00 PM

#1. Ankle Boots

Seen previously here, I made sure to give these guys plenty of wear to work them in before the big NYFW trip. Blisters & freezing toesies are not on my essentials list!

#2. Cozy Scarf

I recently purchased this blanket scarf on post holiday sale at Target. It’s just as soft as it is pretty!

#3. Cross-body Bag

When traveling or doing a lot of commuting I always strip down my bag to the bare essentials to lighten the load. With subway and taxi rides across the city I’m trading in my Kate Spade for a smaller option.

#4. Leather Gloves

Most designers have caught on, but when investing in leather gloves make sure to check for tech screen friendly fingers. Have a pair that aren’t compatible? Not to fret, try this tutorial. It worked great for my vintage leather gloves!

#5. Thick Socks

There’s nothing worse than cold feet when traveling or commuting. Thick tights, leggings and socks will all help to make you feel ready to hit the town. You might even try making a style statement like these gals!

#6. Warm Coat

It’s no secret that I’m in love with my faux fur Leopard coat, but boy those look alike’s can be pricey. Try this economical option, or this one I just saw the other day!

NYFW: My Essentials

Belle Of The Alley

BlogPhotos08I may be Southern, but ‘m not your typical Hollywood depicted ‘Belle’.

I wish I was a Silver Screen Belle. These one dimensional stereotypes are all but complicated. They wear seersucker and grow up to be nurses and housewives. They don’t wear bear suits as they walk through fast food drive-through lines. They don’t grow up to be writers slash photographers slash stylists slash entrepreneurs slash social media gurus. They don’t have to choose a trail to blaze, they just stroll on their well lit moss covered path. There are no signs reading “Beware Of Bears”, “Hazardous Waste Zone”, “Beware Of Falling Rocks”, or “What The H-e-double-hockey-sticks Are You Doing Here, Why Didn’t You Turn Around Ages Ago”.  They don’t have to worry about people questioning their authenticity and trustabilidity because they have degrees to prove that they really know what they’re doing. They marry their high school freshman sweethearts after 8 years of patiently waiting to finish high school and graduate with their four year practical and applicable college degrees. They make enough to move right out of their dorm rooms and in to the suburbs. They work in their careers for approximately 2 years before they give birth to their first child, usually a boy with a good solid Christian name like John or Matthew. Their husbands get raises, and they go on vacations to places full of  entire families wearing seersucker and gingham and plaid. They drink red wine with every meal, and they have well stocked and catalogued wet bars in their basements with well aged and very potent alcohol that they water down with consumption. They never get drunk, and they never raise their voice, unless rooting for their favorite NFL team.  They wear button up pajama sets with matching robes, and have monogrammed pillowcases. There are always fresh cut flowers in their dining room, and their dog never tinkles on their Persian rug. They wear designer watches, and they actually use them because they have important things to do like meeting people for dinner dates and picking up their wool suits from the dry cleaners.
 I wish I was a Southern female Hollywood stereotype, but I would die of boredom.
P.S. This look was created by mixing my Cold Spring Capsule Collection with my existing wardrobe. Read more about it here !

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Photo By: Danielle Martin of Ch. 25

Dress: (Sold Out, Similar Here), Vest: Xhiliration, Faux Leather Leggings: Similar Here, Boots: Similar Here

Belle Of The Alley

In My Bag: NYFW

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Photo by Mark Iantoska for Refinery 29

So friends, cat’s out’a the bag… this will be my first trip to NYFW. Not only will this be my first (and my last for that matter) trip to the big tents at Lincoln Center, this will be my first ever trip to the Big Apple itself! Crazy right? How have I never been to NYC? I mean seriously, it’s about dang time! Well, I finally bit the bullet and cashed in  my frequent flier miles #becauseYOLO.

So as any inquisitive traveler would do, I turned to my former NYC dwelling BFF and several frequent visitors and compiled a list of my NYFW essentials. I’m prepping for a pretty frigid visit, right in the middle of cold and flu season, so the contents of my bag may look a bit like a skin obsessed germ-o-phobe’s but I have every intent of not catching the plague and keeping my hands silky and shakeable!

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#1. Compact Mirror

Because lookin’ like I just ran 10 blocks isn’t so becoming, this gal may want to freshen up on the way to and fro.

#2. Business Card Holder

Since I love meeting new people, I’m constantly collaborating on creative projects and I go through a ton of business cards. Having a specific place to hold my business cards, as well as those of my cohorts, is a networking essential!

#3. Battery Pack

As a social media maven, I am constantly on my phone. I’ve heard horror stories of dashing across town to find a place to charge up. I for one would rather spend my time snapping photos of street style than imprisoned next to a coffee shop outlet.

#4. Headphones

Sometimes, we all just need to zone out. In the city that never sleeps this could be a little hard to accomplish. Music is my go to ‘me moment’. A little Louis Prima makes every scene more magical!

#5. Signature Scent

I feel about 100x better when I roll on this Illume Coconut Mango scent. I firmly believe this directly correlates with my confidence when meeting new people, plus my neighbor on the subway will be instantly transported to a tropical oasis.

#6. Hand Cream

I always carry a thick & creamy hand salve with me in my bag, NYC will be no exception. Living where the winters are harsh and dry, I absolutely swear by my Eufora’s Body Blends from Profile’s Salon.

#7. Hand Sanitizer

Again, I fully intend to stay happy and healthy while traipsing through the big apple. Bye bye subway germs!

#8. Matte Lipstick

I swear by my matte lipstick collection. Funny enough, this drugstore Wet ‘N Wild Mega Last $2 tube has become my favorite lipstick as of late. Highly pigmented poppy shades that last for hours, and come on that price is perfect!

In My Bag: NYFW