Long time no see! Sorry that I completely disappeared off the face of the earth... I just wasn't entirely sure what to say when I decided to stop blogging (or if I wanted to say anything at all) and I wasn't completely sure if it would be a permanent decision. But now that a few months have passed and I've had lots of time to think about it, I have decided to stop blogging here. There's always a sliver of a chance I could change my mind at some point, but I'm pretty positive I won't be returning.

I really want to concentrate on my artwork and projects instead. I've always wanted to be an artist first & foremost, and for the last couple of years I've let that take a backseat to blogging. While my etsy shops have still been my main source of income, most of my time was actually spent on blogging and social networking, not drawing and painting. And while that was fine at the beginning, I just didn't enjoy it anymore. I know that there are a lot of really sweet people out there who genuinely like me, but the more I blogged and instagrammed, the more I felt like a commodity or a person who was just serving as a model for things you might want to buy. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I didn't want to share my personal style anymore. It had become a hindrance to sharing things I actually cared about. (That's not to say I don't care about my style, because I obviously do, it just isn't as important to me as my artwork, books, movies, animals, etc.) And, strangely, it also became a hindrance to feeling like a human being. I'm not sure what it is about fashion that makes other people see you as a thing instead of a person, but that seems to be prevalent in this pocket of the internet.

Anyway, all that being said, I really do appreciate all of the support that I've had here over the years. I've received so many sweet emails from girls who said that my blog helped them to find their own style, or to find the courage to wear something different. As someone who personally struggled with style and self confidence for all of my teens and most of my twenties, that really means the world to me. Style blogging may be behind me now, but the sense of community I felt, the friendships I made, and the opportunities I was given will stay with me forever.

If you're still interested in my artwork, projects, peeks into my office... basically scathingly brilliant without my face and outfits all over the place, then I'm still blogging on my portfolio blog, here, and I've started a new instagram account for my artwork, here.

Thank you again for your support and hopefully I'll still see you around! :)

chalk it up to kindness

This month I'm going to be participating in Random Acts' Endure 4 Kindness. It's kind of like a marathon run, except that you get to marathon whatever activity you want. Some people are baking for 24 hours straight, some people are doing gymnastics, etc. I love this idea because it opens up the world of fundraising pledges to people (cough cough) who wouldn't last ten minutes in a normal marathon. All of the money raised from the event is going to support Random Acts, a charity that promotes and helps fund random acts of kindness around the world.

For my marathon, I'll be chalking up the driveway with kindness-related messages from dawn to dusk on October 19th. I have enlisted my brother's help and we'll be filming a time-lapse of the whole thing and then posting it on my youtube channel when we're finished.

Of course, the whole point of the event is to raise money so if you'd like to pledge to support my fundraiser that would be SO amazingly awesome! My mom and grandmom chipped in $15 to start me off and so far that's all I've raised, way short of my $500 goal, so I would appreciate anything you can manage. And as an incentive, I'm giving away some gifts to pledges that reach a certain amount!

- If you donate $25 or more (and you're a US resident) I'll send you a complimentary kindness brooch from my new store, The Kindness Shop. (They're also available to purchase there if you didn't want to pledge, but pledging means that 100% of your money goes directly to Random Acts!)

-  If you donate $100 or more (and you live on planet Earth) I'll make a custom brooch with whatever design your heart desires. Literally anything, the possibilities are endless.

I am so excited about this! If you want to help me reach my goal, you can pledge RIGHT HERE.

10/19 Update:

We just finished our marathon and the time-lapse video is available to view here. Thank you so much to those of you who donated, I really appreciate it more than you can imagine ♥

saturday night movie: sullivan's travels

I’ve always had a soft spot reserved in my heart for depression-era message yarns. You know the movies- the ones with bread lines, chain gangs and a not-so subtle message about the fragile state of the nation in 1930’s America. I have, and always will, consider them to be admirable pictures that depicted a stark, realistic picture of an America on the brink.

When I first sat down to watch “Sullivan’s Travels” I thought it would be one of those pictures. The movie begins in Hollywood, where director John L. Sullivan, famous for his light comedies and annual musical extravaganzas, decides to embark on a more important movie about human anguish. “Oh, Brother Where Art Thou” will be his ultimate masterpiece. He hatches a plan to go undercover as a vagabond to learn firsthand what it’s like to suffer. This decision sets him on a journey where he ultimately learns that sometimes all a person has is a light comedy or a musical extravaganza, or Mickey Mouse.

There are so many, many things about this movie that touched me, and changed my perception of movies and their importance in American life. Director Preston Sturges was known for his comedies, and this picture was advertised as such. But behind the comedic facade, this film also teaches us about oppression and poverty. Throughout the film, Sullivan encounters homeless families, desperation, starvation and hopelessness. Towards the end of the movie, after an unfortunate series of events, Sullivan finds himself in a southern prison camp, holed up most of the week in a sweat box. His only comfort is the one night when the prisoners are led to an African American church, where the prisoners join the congregation in watching cartoons and comedies. Sturges’ brilliant, subtle juxtaposition of the long-oppressed African Americans welcoming fellow oppressed peoples into their place of worship is one of the most powerful moments in the movie.

I’ve always enjoyed comedies, but until seeing this movie I never realized their importance. Ever since the first moving picture made its way onto the big screen, different audiences have sought different things from the movie-watching experience. Yes, many people wanted to see a realistic depiction of life, in all its gloom and sorrow. But perhaps most importantly, many people have sought refuge from normal life by going to the movies. During the depression, audiences flocked to see frivolous movies, cartoons and adventure pictures. That these films held the power to cheer up a disheartened and depressed public is reason enough to consider them some of the most important films ever made.

For years I’ve said that if I had to narrow down my thousands-long list of favorite movies to only four or five, Sullivan’s Travels would always make the cut. It isn’t just that it’s a great film, it is an important film. In this one motion picture, a moviegoer will learn about poverty, the brutal southern prison system in the early 20th century, the oppression of African Americans, and the importance of comedy.

Sullivan's Travels is available to rent on Amazon, here.

This post was originally published on my movie blog, Silents & Talkies.

these boots are made for walking

One more way that I like to transition my pastel dresses into fall is to pair them with boots, especially brown ones (for some reason black and pastel isn't one of my favorite combinations.)

These particular boots are a dream come true for me. I originally purchased them in black from modcloth (here) and then found them in brown on amazon (here.) I have wide-ish calves and short legs so that combination usually makes boot shopping an absolute nightmare for me. There are some options with oversized shafts but they always end up making my ankles look huge. Since these lace-up (and the laces are adjustable, hallelujah! Whoever thought of decorative laced boots should get a knuckle-sandwich, geez!) I can widen them around my calves but tie them tight around my ankles so you can still tell that my ankles do in fact exist.

dress- asos (old) | boots - amazon | hat - forever 21

october giveaway: black cat purse

This year I'm doing one giveaway every month (in addition to my blog anniversary giveaway) There's one catch -- to enter, you have to perform a random act of kindness today. If you're stumped on what to do, the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation has a list of ideas right here!

What you'll win: One person will win this black cat purse from asos

How to enter: Perform a random act of kindness today and use the rafflecopter widget to enter. You can also earn extra entries in the widget by tweeting about your RAK or making a donation to your favorite charity. You must be a follower to enter (and, please, none of this follow-and-leave as soon as the giveaway is over jazz.. that's super rude!) This giveaway is open to everyone on planet earth.

a Rafflecopter giveaway Giveaway ends November 1st at 12:01AM EST.

don't sweat(shirt) it

Actually, do. Do sweatshirt it. I don't end up wearing them nearly enough in outfit posts, but when I'm running out to do errands in the fall I almost always throw on a sweatshirt before I leave the house. It's not the fanciest of outerwear and it's definitely less pretty than a matching cardigan or tailored trench coat but it's warm, cozy, and it has the added bonus of autumn-izing my springy wardrobe. And probably the best part is that they're super cheap. I got this one at Boscovs for like $8 during their labor day sale.

I think the key to incorporating a sweatshirt into an otherwise dressy outfit is to size down. You don't want a giant slouchy sweatshirt, it should be fitted enough that it still looks half decent. And it really should be worn with an outfit that's put-together. My goal is to dress-down a pastel, frilly ensemble with a sweatshirt, not to be sloppy, if that makes sense.

dress - asos | shoes - bait footwear | sweatshirt - boscovs | socks - no clue!

the devil wears pastels

[Read the following in a very snobby fashion magazine editor voice] This is perhaps the simplest way to start transitioning your pastel pieces into fall, by pairing them with neutral separates like this stunning tan cardigan. In April I'd probably be reaching for a lilac sweater or adding a light pink belt for an extra punch of pastel, but this time of year I tone down the dial. Seafoam green can still look season-appropriate when partnered with a pop of beige. [end snobby fashion magazine voice]

I feel like it's impossible to talk about stuff like this without sounding ridiculous. I was telling my parents about my whole "wearing pastels in the fall" outfit post series and when I explained it to them [in the snobby fashion magazine editor voice] I also felt the need to include robotic gestures, stiffly waving my hand across my torso to illustrate where exactly a belt with a punch of pastel color would be located.

dress- modcloth | shoes - c/o bait footwear

lazy saturday

It feels so weird posting an outfit on a Saturday. I have no idea why I arbitrarily decided that weekends were off-limits for outfits, but for some reason I've hardly ever posted them since I started blogging almost 5 years ago. I still get dressed on Saturday and Sunday and sometimes those outfits deserve to be shared, darn it!

Totally completely unrelated to anything, but I just thought I'd share this since I'm kind of obsessed -- I recently got this little elliptical machine that sits under your desk, so you can exercise while you're working and it is probably the best purchase I've made all year. I'm one of those people who always buys new exercise equipment and then never uses it. I have a stationery bike, a stepper, a treadmill and an ab roller all collecting dust in the basement. But for the first time I'm actually using my new gadget daily! To me it feels sort of like a stationery bike, except that your seat is an actual chair instead of an uncomfortable hard plastic triangle. I've been doing it for about three weeks now and I'm already feeling better. My dad and I go for walks every night and I'm not getting winded like I used to, and my dad keeps telling me to slow down. Basically I'm just like "FINALLY! Exercise I can do while I sit at my computer watching Netflix, packing orders and drinking iced tea. SCORE."

dress- h&m | cardigan - forever 21 | tights - we love colors