Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Grass Is Greener

Pretend the blank wall behind me is an architecturally beautiful historical street or an expansive field with orange leaves decorating the sky and ground.  Right now it is freezing enough to numb my ears and it's been made worse by a cold and mean rain.  I could not be outside any longer than necessary (car and back only), so I had to find my own little corner in my own little room.

I wore this to my Bird Bakery outing.  The black and kelly green was not as cheery as the bakery decor, but the light and bright colors should maybe go into semi-retirement.  I'm glad I got a bunch of sweaters and other long-sleeved things shopping in St. Louis with my sister.  I realized that stores in locations with serious winters keep the best options in stock.  Obvious, I know, but now that I'm back down here maybe I should have found myself a warmer coat than this one while I was still up there.

These black Levi's Bold Curve are awesome because I don't need a belt and not awesome because they always look so faded and off-black.  The black oxford heels are here again.  I don't usually wear heels, but according to my sister flats make you look dumpy.  In response to that opinion and to appear more my age (recently mistaken for a high school student...not awful, just inaccurate), I've decided to wear heels more often. 

Now I was tricked into buying that bracelet.  I sign up for so many clothing/accessory places with my junk email address.  I receive newsletters, promotions and lookbooks from Piperlime, Hautelook, Just Fab, Sole Society, Shoe Dazzle, Bauble Bar and finally JewelMint.  All places that I never intend to ever purchase anything from.  Most times the emails go straight from inbox to trash.
But then there was that email from JewelMint advertising $9.99 for the first purchased piece.  Impulse sparked and before I knew it I was browsing their jewelry.  They hooked me and reeled me in.  By making that first purchase I am officially on their payroll each month.  I can skip a month if I don't want to buy anything and I can later cancel altogether.  Ooh, I felt deceived and I'll probably cancel but I was excited to get the bracelet in the mail.  I have since worn it twice in a row.  Well then.

Beware of sales trickery.  Read all the lines.

Outfit Details
Free Country reversible jacket
Kenar Extrafine Merino Wool sweater (TJ Maxx)
Levi's Bold Curve skinny jeans (Macy's I think)
B.O.C Oxford heels (DSW)
Clara bracelet (Jewel Mint)
black and purple stone earrings (gift)

Monday, November 25, 2013

About Time for a Cupcake

I have a sweet tooth on a mission to have me visit bakeries around the city and host delicious dessert parties in my mouth.  Why foil such a plan when I could facilitate it?  Last week I somehow came upon Bird Bakery while jumping from tab to tab on the Internet.  Sounds good, looks good.  Grab a friend, let's go.

pumpkin spice and fresh strawberry
On Broadway  they say there's always magic in the air .  And I think they are right.  First, Bird Bakery is next to a TCBY Frozen Yogurt, a childhood favorite.  I thought those stores were extinct -- does anyone remember their teeth-staining rainbow ice cream (which was really just primary-colored vanilla)?  Anyway, back to the charming and quaint bakery.

Second, the space is small and cozy, but big enough for a long table and several square for four and circle for two tables.  Antique-looking bird-cage chandeliers hang from the ceiling and the napkin holders are adorned with little birds or brass spoons.  Monogrammed mugs, mirrors and other knick-knacks are on display and some for sale.  Chalked messages decorate the walls and doors.  This lovely one from Julia Child made me smile and really justified the mission of my sweet tooth:
Everything in moderation... including moderation. 
The dessert counter is glorious.  Cupcakes, cookies, pies, and brownies.  And they have sandwiches-- from turkey to chicken salad to what they called Nostalgic Grilled Cheese.  I'll take that, thank you very much.  Sandwiches come with very crispy ridged potato chips and a pickle spear.  Now let me dish about these cupcakes.  I tasted lemon and fresh strawberry at the bakery.  The cake was moist and dense with just enough icing as to not overwhelm you with sweetness.  The strawberry one was so good I got another for home along with the seasonal pumpkin spice.  But they also had a sweet potato one... next time.

My, what a scary face you have
All the better to tear this cake up
I had already eaten half of it when I thought I should show the world just how good it is.  So good I cannot be confined to a kitchen or any kind of etiquette.

In case Google is broken or something: Bird Bakery 5912 Broadway St, San Antonio, TX 78209  

P.S. After the bakery I went to the theatre to see About Time starring Domhnall Gleeson and Rachel McAdams and I loved it.  Sweet and sentimental...just like cupcakes?, but yes, a sweet and sentimental movie.  Visit, eat, drink, watch, be merry.  All that.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


Still in semi-summer mode at the beginning of November.  Now the days pretend to treat us well between giving us some hell.  If hell is chilly...I just wanted to keep the rhyme.  I don't know why I've saved this until the near end of the month, but here 'tis.

Yes, 'tis the season already.  That one station has officially switched into Christmas music.  I happily accepted this change once I heard the cool version of "White Christmas" by the Drifters followed by my all-time favorite, Wham's "Last Christmas."  And I saw The Best Man Holiday last Friday night.  All this before we even get to Thanksgiving?!  Everything is coming so quickly.  Already there are pre-Black Friday sales and stores are decorated red and green.  And everything is going to pass quickly.  November and December kind of blur into each other and then suddenly give way for the new year.  So before all this holiday excitement comes in full force — autumn/winter cold, parties, gift-giving, and  quality T-I-M-E ♫ I have one last summery thing. 

On life: Do you feel like you're all over the place sometimes?  You have an egg (or a piece of shell) in each basket, but you're only really watching out for one basket (and it's the wrong one for the moment).  The thing I've been telling myself lately is that I'm doing the most when I should be doing the least.  I've been blog-centric, visiting Bloglovin' and all these other online magazines and standalone blogs.  I've also resumed by TV addiction (though that never really went away).  As soon as the GRE could leave my life forever I relaxed a little and focused more on my social and hobby baskets to the neglect of the others.

What I've been telling myself is not right.  I should never be doing the least in anything.  For this lesson in the importance of priorities and balance I just have to continue with this awful analogy (gotta make it work)...  So, choose the most important baskets, put the right number of eggs in each one, and try real hard to carry them all and still walk straight without dropping anything.  Easier said... But just try.  Real hard. 

Oh, and stay sanely insane.  On this cloudy autumn day when I decided to hold steadfast to a fleeting summer-feel I was grooving to my new favorite song "Right There" by Ariana Grande.  A little silly helps me do the most ( best) for the next important thing.  The song is just so bounceable.  I've developed an infatuation with her music ever since I heard "The Way" (which samples Big Pun's "Still Not a Player" which samples Brenda Russell's "A Little Bit of Love").  Everything sounds the same but different, very catchy, very pop/R&B-ish, and she's got those Mariah Carey high frequency notes.

On photography: Well, the first one was treated with some sort of filter on Picasa.  I think it looks a little summertime glamorous, like an editorial in a magazine.  I shot with ISO 200 because the cloudiness was washing the images out but there are other components to exposure that I haven't used because I don't know how or can't use because of camera limitations.  I recall there's something called white balance... for another day.

On the outfit:  This is the only way I know how to wear a denim shirt. Is that still a trend?  Is this thing they call chambray the same?  I'm not sure.  I suppose the traditional denim complements the pastel color in those pants (which might not be the best fit, but I'm stuck with them now).  I really like the idea of candy-colored anything.  Enough of the "blue jean."  (I always scrunched my face whenever my high school band teacher would say that.  Why you gotta have that adjective there all the time?)  This outfit is all quite bright, comfortable for a Texas autumn and of course, fitting to dance in.  

"This is my jam!"

Forever 21 denim shirt
Target dressy tee
Gap legging jean (allergic to plural)
Calvin Klein reversible belt
(Burlington Coat Factory)

Tasha headband (Nordstrom)
Forever 21 necklace
Kelly & Katie sandals (DSW)
Steve Madden crossbody
Goodness, I think this is my second-longest post so far and possibly the most jumpy.  Thanks for reading if you did.  If you didn't thanks for scrolling through. Bye ya'll!

Monday, November 11, 2013

On the Wall

Five minutes into my perusal of SAMA's Contemporary Art Collection, this work caught my attention.  The photograph's caption and the artist's quote on the placard expresses an opinion on a reality that still exists-- the fact that black women and girls are often hidden from the mainstream media or if shown, in one-dimensional or insincere representations.  I gasped the most at how fitting it was to see Mirror, Mirror after reading Twitter and Huffington Post responses to the Black Girls Rock! Awards on BET last week.  1987 then. 2013 now.

Mirror, Mirror (1987)
Ain't Jokin' (photographic project)
Carrie Mae Weems
I believe that many people do not know the definition of racism (or any of its derivatives).  Not to say that I am a cultural or linguistic expert on the word's denotation... As I was watching the show I also scrolled through Twitter (it's become a thing I do now, tsk tsk) under the search #BlackGirlsRock and found some bemoaning tweets about others who had a problem with the organization.  Then I purposely looked for that opposition.  Many tweets looked like this: "If there was a White Girls Rock it would be racist."  

I wonder who said so.  Who told these people it would be racist to have a White Girls Rock or a White Entertainment Television?  It would be ludicrous and pointless, not racist.  Those two things already exist with ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, etc. White people are regularly represented, believed to be the default, the mainstream.  There isn't a need to reaffirm the worth of a white person in the United States.    

Beverly Bond created the Black Girls Rock organization to empower young girls in the arts, to show them positive role models.  The awards show was so awesome to me, I wished that I could have participated in something like it when I was younger.  All the honorees and their speeches made me think "Hey, I can be great too."  I can be extraordinary too (had to do it).  In the end it is always true that all girls rock.  Black girls, white girls, South Asian girls, Asian girls.  Shouldn't every girl hear that kind of encouragement?

hmm... right?
 Mirror, Mirror is part of a collection of photographs called Ain't Jokin' (1987-1988).  The captions and/or titles to the other photographs are interesting and so blunt.  The link to Weems' website is underneath the first image up above so check out the rest and more if you like.  I appreciate seeing this at the museum and getting to discover a black female photographer and artist.  Carrie Mae Weems makes me want to be an actual photographer, someone with a vision and something to say.  Right below is her quote about this photograph  printed on the placard at SAMA.  I can imagine someone saying those words today.  

It's fair to say that black folks operate under a cloud of invisibility-- this too is part of the work, is indeed central to the work.... This invisibility-- this erasure out of the complex history of our life and time-- is the greatest source of my longing.... That there are so few images of African-American women circulating in popular culture or in fine art is disturbing; the pathology behind it is dangerous.  I mean, we got a sistah in the White House, and yet mediated culture excludes us, denies us, erases us. -- Carrie Mae Weems
Happy Veterans Day!
*hope its not illegal for me to post photos I took of work someone else least I found the real thing on the artist's site and added credit.  Is that enough acknowledgement? Eek!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

SmART Party

Is there such a thing as the Window of Photography Perfection?  Loosely defined as a period of time when really nice images can be shot outdoors mostly because of the magic of natural light.  If it is a thing then the end of Daylight Saving Time made me miss that window last night.

Too sexy for my face
Without that window I was stuck in a room and tried to make do.  Nighttime photography.  Hmmm....  Well, since it was getting darker by the minute I increased the camera's sensitivity to light: pumped that ISO level up to 400.  (I've been working with ISO 100 or 200, no flash)  It didn't work out very well, so I set the camera to ISO 200 and used flash to illuminate subject and background.  Okay, okay, enough with the technical stuff.  Still not the best results I think, but hey, I'm new at this.
It was all in the name of SAMA Art Party (San Antonio Museum of Art).  Every second Friday of the month, the beautiful museum opens the courtyard area for art,  music, and cocktails, charging a small fee ($10).  Party makes me think "dress!"  And a skirt is pretty much a half-dress.  Or is a dress an extended skirt?  This zebra print looking skirt is probably from Dillards Clearance Outlet, courtesy of my momma.  I bought both the open jacket and shoes on a whim.  The jacket because it was different and on sale at Nordstrom Rack and the shoes because my sister told me I had to buy them.  Apparently that's all it takes to convince me.

I've never worn these things together before and I feel like there might be something missing.  I bet one of those fancy schmancy (too expensive for me) celebrity stylists would have something to make it complete.  Oh, I forgot.  I'm my own personal stylist most of the time.  Every extraordinary ordinary girl is.  Next time, I guess.  But actually I have to say that my mom has bought a good chunk of my clothes and I usually love everything she gets me.  So she's my stylist.  I'm just now taking over.

Gap long sleeved T-shirt
Gianni Bini skirt
Classiques Entier jacket (Nordstrom Rack)
generic black tights
BOC Born Concept oxford shoes (DSW)

P.S.  SAMA is a pretty cool word abbreviation.  But what if it were named the [S]an Antonio [m]useum of ART?  Smart choices, people.  Idea from my love, my sister.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Skip to My Lou

scream it like you mean it
On the weekend I skipped to the Lou and to my love (my sister).  I hadn't seen her in quite some time so everything was wonderful-- movie, musical, and mess.  She made coconut rice and stew, I brought some chin chin and we became weekend wine drinkers -- moscato, stella rosso, and a sweet (dark) red.  As we made our way to the alcoholic beverages at the grocery store I thought "Oh, she needs me to buy it," completely forgetting that she's of legal drinking age.  When the heck did that happen?!  This girl had wine glasses and everything.

Nature and campus stairway
Photo credit: moi
Photo credit: moi encore une fois
How interesting it was to return to St. Louis, the city I used to know.  Everything was pleasantly familiar.  Aye, I remember this airport!  Ooh, Maplewood Commons and the (sometimes) sorry Walmart! And finally, WashU, my alma mater.  This was such a good homecoming. 

It was a proper fall over there, whatever that means.  Sunny and chilly.  My love kindly took some of these photos.  You should see this sweater when my arms are fully extended: it becomes a boxy parachute.  But that's how I wanted it when I compared sizes at Burlington Coat Factory.  And that's how everyone else seems to like it too.  As I strolled through campus like a student a woman complimented me on the sweater.  Next time I'll cuff the pants to show off dem boots. ☺

So this is just me wearing some clothes that I like, which is always the best thing.  They say you are the best when you feel the best.  Or is it "You feel the best when you look the best"?  I don't know.  I really just make things up as I go.  But they both sound good, right? 

prism prison

DKNY Jeans jumper
Cynthia Rowley T-shirt
Rebecca Minkoff Mac bag
The best jeans
Dem boots
Favorite bracelets