Monday, November 30, 2009

I'm a Winner!

I'm a Winner!!
I won the Jasmine Discover Gift Set. "6,800,000 jasmine sambac blossoms requried to produce one liter of jasmine essential oil for HARNN's Jasmine Collection of hair and body care products to pamper and tantalize your sensees with all nat ural active ingredients....White Rice Soap, Jasmine Natural Hair and Body Shampoo, Jasmine Natural Conditional, and Jasmine Natural body Lotion." It'll be a great excuse to go to Bellevue and take a look at their store. Review to follow.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Wish Want Love Covet

Absolutely gorgeous pink blouse. Too bad it's too small for me. :(

Full of....

Thanks for those things in my life that I love.

0 - My family. I'm not seeing them for a while, and I miss them on the holidays.

0 - Paul, who is infinitely the most wonderful partner for me.

0 - The sounds of the city, they sooth me and remind me I live exactly where I want to be.

0 - My health. The last year's trials have shown me how huge that is.

0 - My life up until this point, because it's helped create who I am today. And I'm thankful for my thought process, perspectives, quirks, and outright oddness.

0 - The transient nature of life. Good things come, then go. But the hard sad things do too. "This too shall pass."

0 - Teddy bears to sleep with. (That's right. I'm not ashamed.)

0 - Puppies and friends who offer to share their home with you on a moment's notice.

0 - The unique nature of individual personalities and that I get to enjoy their contribution to the world and my life.

0 - Baking. It's a source of joy to me.

0 - The color red. This is not trivial. It makes me so happy.

0 - My job. That I have one and it's a good place to work.

0 - Sleep.

0 - Seattle.

0 - That I get to share my thoughts and feelings and rants and raves and randomness with you all.

Happy Thanksgiving.
Give thanks.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Black and White Stripes and Diamonds

It's a really simple outfit, but shows off the couple of new pieces I got.
Shoes: Payless ~$10
Awesome Tights: ?Nordstrom? $?
Dress: Diva Dollz ~$50
*New to me* Striped Sweater: Diva Dollz ~$45
*New to me* Black Seed Bead Braclet: Junk Thrift $3
*New to me* Pearl Necklace: Junk Thrift: $18
*New to me* Earings: (thrift) $0.50

Just how little?

I know I keep mentioning that I have no clothes. After reorganizing my clothes a while back I took photos of how minimalist my wardrobe is. And here it is. This is how little clothes I have. To be fair my socks, hose, and unmentionables are in my dresser. Along with 5 more pairs of pants/1 skirt. (And my lounge around the house clothes)

1/2 of this is my bike clothes (shorts, jerseys, and shirts)
1/2 of this is:
1. my casual shirts
2. my skirts

These are all of my
1. boleros/cardigan type things
2. work shirts
3. dresses

And that's all folks! I have the fashion bug,
but just not the clothes to take it to the next level at this time.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Birthday/Christmas Wish List

So it's my birthday in less than 2 weeks. Christmas is coming up. But I'm broke and poor and I've DESPERATELY been coveting things clothes/shoes/jackets/beads/etc... recently. It's frustrating that I can only very gradually acquire wardrobe items, but when I go to put them on I realize I have nothing else to go with them. Found a cute $1 skirt...but have no shoes (or blouse) to go with it. Found a beautifully white and black striped adorable cardigan-esque cotton jacket. But no shirt that will go underneath it it.


Anyway, I was making a list for others as to what I would like for Christmas (honestly, given the situation most of everyone is in financially, a smile/call/hug will suffice because that's about all I can afford now). But I figured it'd be fun to list some of the things I've been drooling over/would love to have. A list of "If I had a bunch of money to drop..."

And I've tried linking the photos to the websites....but it seems like it's having problems.

So chic. AND affordable. Amazing.

I have one pair of jeans right now. One. And they're baggy. So I want more jeans.

And that's the end of my completely consumeristic and silly want fest. I'm going to go back later and try to make all the stupid links work. Most of these were from or . Anyway, I've got a ton more posts to's just been super busy and stressful lately.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Word of the Day

1. to remove or withdraw into solitude or retirement; seclude.
2. to remove or separate.

I need to recharge and find center.

Sequestering seems suitable, secure, safe, sincerely sublime.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Red and Black in the Dreary Gray Seattle Rain: Outfit Post #1

OK, so since I live in Seattle and I work a regular job....I never see the sun in the fall/winter. Which is why I won't be posting any pictures of my outfits when I really like them. I was insistant on taking some photos today even though I'm wearing the comfiest, least post-worthy clothes. There was no sun. It was also very cold and rainy today. It was difficult to get good shots with the lighting and the rain, but it's good enough for one of my first posts. I'm going to include posts of Paul's outfits as well, as - well - he ALWAYS looks put together.

Scarf - random shop somewhere in Seattle,
T-shirt - Threadless "Flowers in the Attic" - MY FAVORITE SHIRT
bead/silver bracelet - Thrift store
Red and Black Socks - Monster Store "Sock it to Me" socks
Converse Sneakers - Thrift store
Awesome freaking umbrella - vintage store
Jeans - consignment shop.

Paul's favorite camel colored 3/4 length coat yesterday when we went to breakfast at Besalu.
I love Besalu!
Amazingly warm casual coat he found while thrift store shopping with me yesterday.

I really love this outfit on him.
It's like the weather today in that it's very muted,
but he looks so good in it.

MMMMMM.... Pumpkin Pie

I made a pumpkin pie on Monday for desert as a neighbor was coming over for dinner and WOW. I never realized how EASY pumpkin pie was, my first one ever and it came out amazing! It was so pretty I had to take pictures. Check out the juxtaposition... there's a pumpkin (and an orange) behind it :) ORanGE-TasTIC! I know I'm silly, but it totally made me happy.

Diva Dollz

This is my favorite boutique ever. Fantastic vintage-esque beautiful high quality items. It's in Seattle in Pioneer Square and the people who run it are FABULOUS. A must check out if you're in Seattle. It's where I got all the items for this outfit.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Completely Pointless Post

My boots (previously mentioned) came to Seattle. They were somewhere SO close to me...and were delivered to somewhere that did not they were returned to LA vintage. And now I have to wait ALL OVER AGAIN for them to come back. It makes me cry I want them so badly. Please hurry!




BUT! Little Red Studio blues dancing is tomorrow night. Which is wonderful and happy. I love the space, the vibe, the music, and the dancing. And on another completely random side note, I'm proud that I went to the gym tonight when I really didn't really really didn't want to. Go me.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Fashion Focus...Product Runway

My company, CollinsWoerman, participated and helped put on Product Runway this year (last year too). Check it out on King 5, our local news station.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

If I were in lavender violet purple fantasy land

I would have amazing lavender violet purple clothes to lavish in every day. One of the best colors ever. I love it because, well, it looks good on me (who doesn't love that). It transforms my look into a more feminine allure and reminds me so fondly of my childhood. Curled up in my mothers lap, with one of her soft lilac fuzzy sweaters against me, I felt the most safe and loved as I ever had. And since my mother is in love with purple and I have tons of fond memories of her and I together, it's association as well. Purple=warm and happy.

...However, I really don't have much purple in my wardrobe except a shirt or two and a scarf (Again, withthe wardrobe being woefully inadequare). So I began poking around - what awesome other apurple/violet/lavender things could I get?

I loved the chunkiness of this belt, but the linear lines rock to accentuate narrow. Too many chunky belts make people look too large, since they don't connect linearly. I think this does it amazingly well.
The tights just rock. Can't argue with that

I would buy this lavender extravaganza dress.
And this skirt, even with it's ruffles and bows. 'Cause it's cute.
And this purple jacket, though tiny (couldn't find a bigger picture) looks fantabulous. I love, again, the linear elements of the buttons. A little sassy but stylish at the same time.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Poor Man's Beef Bourguignon

So I've mentioned I've made my poor man's version of Beef Bouguignon a couple times in my blog. I took pictures the last time I made it, so figured I'd give the recipe and show them off. Sadly, I was so hungry and excited by the time I finished I didn't take a pretty plated picture of it. I just ate it :) These portions are for two people, not a whole lot of leftovers, but enough for another 3/4 portion.

1. Cook the bacon, about 6 slices.

2. Once crispy, remove bacon and drain. Remove 1/2 the grease in pot and reserve.

3. Break up a head of garlic, put a few tablespoons of red wine in there, wrap in foil, roast at 350 degrees until smooshy (~45 min). As this is a pauper's version of this recipe I simply use driest red wine we have around. House wine here in Washington is great, it's a blend of tons of reds, and is cheap, but good. I use that..

4. Prepare beef by cutting into cubes and patting dry, season with salt and pepper. Use good tender meat, not cheap meat.

5. Cut up carrots and onions. Saute in the 1/2 portion of bacon grease left in pot until they are good and tender.

6. Remove veggies.

7. Sear meat in SMALL batches until it's got a great browned outside. I kinda suck at this, but it's the goal.

8. Put veggies and meat in same pot, take the roasted garlic out of the oven and smoosh it, adding the creamy garlic pulp to the mess. In another container, add some flour ~1/4 cup about 2 cups beef broth to cover the mess, a couple of TBS of tomato paste, some oregano, basil, thyme, and a bay leaf (removed at the end). whisk it around, add it to meat and veggies, and pour over beef and veggies. Add enough wine to cover ~1/3 to 2/3 of the bottle. Simmer for an hour or so. Ah!

9. Serve over cooked rice, or pasta, or nothing at all.

It's tasty, a little time intensive, but so rich and wonderfully UMPH-afied, it's really beautiful. And tasty.

Friday, November 6, 2009

I love accessories

Got to use my pretty red plaid umbrella today in the rain. Giant umbrella and massive winds = wondering if it's worth the trouble. LOL...But it IS so very pretty! I'll see if I can't take a picture or two of my outfit today, as I've gotten several comments/compliments on it. Which is really great. Although I'm kind of sad when I come to work and have to put away my umbrella, scarf, and coat, as they add so much to the outfit.

I'm realizing that accessories are really the amazing parts of outfits. Your clothes, unless they're so completely awesome like this outfit are much more of a good palette to work with. Different accessories can change the look of what you're wearing completely.

I LOVE this bag! paired with this hair flower it would be wonderful. I'm not sure it'd GO with this coral necklace pictured to the right, but it's something that's really powerful that I'd actually wear. It would have to be balanced with a more minimalistic outfit, but I like it! This necklace would be a more appropriate with the bag/hair flower. I like it's bulk, but also it's more simplistic elegant hints. (HA! and then I looked at the price. I'm SURE I can get something very similar to it for about $5 at one of the thrift stores around the city.) I love the fact that I can look at things for inspiration that are ridiculously expensive, but then find something close enough to it for less than $20 at a thrift store. Oh how I love shopping "green"!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

31 Happy Thoughts

This past week or two has been kinda hard on me emotionally/mentally (and vicariously Paul too, since he's my sounding board - I can't express how much I appreciate his willingness to love and put up with me at my worst). There's no real seious reasons for this, just minor accumulations between outside stimuli and my own weird brain. I don't like feeling this way very much and I came to the realization that if I want it to change I need to do something about it. So some serious reflection occurred last night and some poking around with what I really want. My viewport has twisted around to see things from a different angle. It's so nice when that happens after you've been seeing something from one ugly angle for so long.

So to celebrate I am supplying you with 31 happy thoughts I've had today. (I pick 31 because it ITSELF is a "happy number". Look it up.) *disclaimer: these are in NO particular order. at all. Mainly because my brain isn't organized.*

1. I love Paul. The flowers he brings me on my desk remind me of that, his hugs remind me of that, I remind me of that. He loves (or tolerates patiently) EVERY little part of my personality. I don't ever have to pretend with him. I can be honest and huggy and exactly who I am and he loves me for that. And he is just about one of the best, respectful, caring, thoughtful and full of thoughts person I've ever met. He's the icing on my cake.

2. My family is alive and well. My dad was sick last Thursday through Tuesday in the hospital with an infection. He could have possibly had to have had surgery. He's at home resting up right now. I talked to him Tuesday and I'm immensely grateful for him and my mother. I love them and that is as much a part of my life as my need to eat. All of my family and parent/"adopted" parents are a wonderfully special part of my life.

3. AND 4.

There's also this beautiful strikingly gorgeous woman who works in my building. African American with skin the color of perfectly creamed coffee, a gorgeous bone structure - strong, proportionate in almost every way and yet elegant at the same time. Very feminine. I see her about twice a day every day in the elevator lobby. She's always professionally and demurely dressed in really nice clothes that always seamlessly go together. Her hair is about neck length and SUPER HUGE and just gorgeous in moderately tight curls. Every time I see her I am happy because her beauty is close to a sublime work of art that touches you. I saw her twice today, so that's why it's two happy thoughts.

5. I've been digging around for online vintage sites and found a few, thought I'd share. A list of vintage clothing sites. Really the "Bee's Knees"! I know I'm a little slow, but I knew nothing about etsy until yesterday...and here's an etsy vintage clothing directory. And I really do love this girl's personality and blog she also has a great etsy site. To make things a little easier, here's an online vintage clothing directory. Also - Mod Cloth....what a cool name. Yay!

6. There's a guy at work in his ?late 50's? early 60's? Who's the architecutral code genius. Isn't a fashion person by a long shot, and is recognizable by his outboard white hair cloud around his head and glasses, but his leather shiny autumn leave golden brown shoes today ROCK. After telling him they were great - I saw him get more excited than I ever thought he could be about shoes. It was so cute.

7. I'm met Andrew for coffee this afternoon. He's been in Butan for several weeks and it was really nice to see him. I appreciate the support/encouragement/tips he gives me on being active/reaching my goals and the chance to catch up with him.

8. I got to work this morning. With nasty headwinds and less than a 6" gap close call with a delivery truck trying to kill me I can say that I was truely happy (and adrenaline pumped) to get to work this morning.

9. Mmm....silky hose feel so good in high heels.

10. I still don't have a front fender on my bike since it went wonky and I had to remove it. The asphalt backwash wasn't particularly pleasant, but I LOVED how the spray looked in front of my headlight coming home and the rain cascading in front of the oncoming car's headlights. Riding a bike through connects you to your environment in a way that any other transportation I've participated in can't even come close.

11. Puppies. That's all a girl's got to say.

12. It's raining. Normally I wouldn't be super psyched about this. It's Seattle, it rains. BUT I bought that amazing umbrella a few days ago and I've yet to use it. I can take it out for a spin soon. Mmmmmmmm....pretty things!

13. Pandora is doing really well with playing what I want to hear this afternoon.

14. I found new blogs to look at today I like. I've added a few of them to my "follow blog" list on the side. Check 'em out.

15. I got some alone time tonight as Paul was/is .....somewhere? I like that I come home sometimes just to myself and my thoughts.

16. One coworker's scarf was really pretty fuzzy varying shades of blue. It was beautiful.

17. I got a lot of work done at work. This in itself isn't necessarily a happy thought, but the thought I got some boring tedious work out of the way that I don't have to do tomorrow makes me happy.

18. I am SO looking forward to tomorrow. It's Friday, I get paid, and since there's no blues dancing I'm going window shopping at a bunch of new (to me) vintage/thrift stores and then I'm going to write at a coffee show. Doesn't that just sound like a wonderful day?

19. My house is clean and pretty (thanks to Paul)

20. Today's been a day resplendent with mental connections and patterns in sight, color, sound, and hidden meanings. I love days like that.

21. The shower at work this morning turned instantaneously hot instead of taking 10 minutes to warm up. I love hot showers. PLUS I didn't have to wait for someone else to get out of the shower...which is always nice.

22. Doing yoga - I love feeling the warmth spread out into my body and the release in tensed up muscles.

23. I'm really happy I'm spending Thanksgiving weekend with a friend. Paul and I are going to spend the weekend with Danae at her parents house. YAY!

24. I'm thankful for my health.

25. I love argyle. I was wearing an argyle sweater today and this pretty boy in the elevator this afternoon was wearing one and a girl had an argyle scarf on waiting for the bus on my bike route home. It's such a great pattern and fall is so perfectly compatible with it.

26. Coffee. Coffee is happy in a cup.

27. One of my coworkers and I chatted for a bit over lunch. She's amazing and every time I get to spend a little time with her, I'm a little happier. I respect her very much.

28. My organized closet (and my recent found ability to put my clothes away) makes my life so much easier and visually more pleasing.

29. I made great time from Freemont coming home on my bike even though there were winds and it was raining.

30. Nina Simone whispering sultry like in my ear while I watch red and golden leaves dance frantically around rain laden trees.

31. Yogurt, raisins, and granola for lunch. Little bits of fruit thrown in. SO good.

Starting out the mid morning/afternoon with this post in mind has been really unique. Try it someday. Try to come up with a large number of happy thoughts to write down later... your day changes for the better.

Monday, November 2, 2009


More new thrift store purchases made today....a GREAT vintage red plaid umbrella that's huge and wonderful...$23! A crocheted beret, that was just to perfect to pass up, and a pretty lavender/blue/white silk scarf that I'm wearing tomorrow. I'm going to try to start taking some pictures to show the amazing finds I've been having. I went to this Vintage underground bazaar like place in Freemont. I saw a black version of this purse to the left that I was in love with at the store, but they, like Vintage Vixen that sports the above purse, want more than I want to pay for it.

Searching this evening online for vintage stores/outfits/ensembles, I ran across a couple of really cute/fun sites. There's this quirky "out fit in a kit" that's reasonably priced for an entire ensemble. Can you imagine how fun that would be for a job! I'll be checking back to see their rotating items. And this site Posh Girl Vintage has some amazing pieces!

I'm falling pretty hard for the vintage look right now. Loving the treasure hunt feeling, the great finds you can make for almost next to nothing, the relaxing time of sorting through a myriad sea of miscellaneous items, and the pure personality of all this fun stuff. The only thing that's a downer is that these olden days women were not only tiny waisted, but they had crazy small feet. :( So sad. However, I'd like to state for the record I do not believe "90's" stuff qualifies for vintage and that the 80's were generally the dark ages when it comes to fashion. Puff paint was never pretty.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Change. Sometimes is smacks you in the face, other times it sneaks through the back door unnoticed and before you realize it, you're serving it beef bourguignon at the dinner table asking it if it'd like mineral water or red wine with dinner.

"Well hello Change. How long have you been here?"

I wasn't one who was very concerned with beauty or clothes when I was younger. I was adamant until 10 or so that I was a tomboy, not a lady. My favorite pieces of clothing when I was very young were a pink windbreaker, spandex knee length black shorts with fluorescent green lime stripes down the side (hey - I was 6 and it was the 80's). I had a pink cotton mini skirt until I was 11 that I wore until it literally fell apart. During my teenage years I wore blue or black clothing. That was the options. There weren't any other colors in my closet. I had no stamina for shopping for clothes and thought spending money on clothing was a waste of time, resources, and energy.

Oh how I've changed!

Paul and I had a beautiful day thrift store shopping today. We ate breakfast at a great place in Freemont and wandered around to a store called Junk, which was awesome, then wandered
in and out of some other vintage/thrift stores in the area and I had some great finds! It was an amazingly perfect day with sunshine and decent temperatures and I'm realizing I LOVE pretty things. I love accessories and fur coats and beautiful shoes. I love things that are pretty. Granted, most things I find are crap, but I don't like most clothing trends. I may be more excited by fun clothes, shoes, purses, and jewelry, but I'm really damn picky.

I found a great pair of black and red cowboy boots at LAVintage. I'm SUPER psyched because I've been looking for some black and red cowboy boots in my size for a long time and have never been able to find them. I checked out The Clothes Horse blog I follow and ended up there. That's another hint I've changed. I cannot imagine me 10 or 5 or even 3 or even 2 years ago daily checking out a clothing theme blog. Now, I search them out to find new ways to put clothes together to create an aesthetic that pleases me and reflects a bit of who I am. Please check out this 13 year old's fashion blog. Amazing.

This creation of a personal aesthetic did start when I was 14 or so. I'd sew together crazy combinations of pants to make my own, sew pop tabs into my jeans, wear paper clips for earrings and make pillow cases into skirts.

Now it's much different. Its not about shocking people, or being so different I stand out, or acknowledging since I don't fit in I will make it easy for everyone else to visually identify me as an outcast. Now I'm reflecting a vastly different aesthetic. I want elegance, subtle unique seamless beauty. I want pieces that are as comfortable as they are eye catching. I want to look effortless and at the same time completely put together, tied together, complete. Like I said, it's going to take time but honestly I've really loved everything I've gotten recently.

Escher Perspective

With the addition of the corset and the closet cleaning I've been more "put together" lately. Which has resulted in an Escher like perspective on beauty, attractiveness, and how people respond to appearance.

It's a loop that eats itself when I try to analyze what responses I've received. The basic line of thought originating in - being pretty makes people respond more positively towards me. How? Why? How do I feel about that? What does that mean to me as a person, to my approach on aesthetics?

Being properly 'put together', a complete, neat, ensemble that's coordinated and well-thought out, increases confidence and changes the way I carry myself. (corsets are GREAT for posture!) It makes me feel pretty and attractive....which results in bubbly happy outgoing Amanda, which is attractive in and of itself. So when people are attractive/nice to me, are they responding to my appearance or to my personality? Can you separate the two?

I really can't complain that people pay more positive attention to me when I look attractive. I pay more positive attention to people who dress well and take care of their appearance. Being hypocritical doesn't seem honest. Plus, how you look is a reflection of who you are to some extent. How you present yourself to the world around you, what care you take to be thoughtfully compiled. The only negative thing I've reaped from being more 'put together' is the extended time, care, and attention to detail it takes to get ready and keep myself unmessy. It also makes me painfully aware of the lack of clothing, shoes, jackets, and hosiery in my closet. Building a nice wardrobe is going to take quite some time, searching for appropriate styles.

So I'm eating my way through this new loop as to what it means to dress myself in the morning (only took 25 years...) and aesthetics as what it means to me.