Wednesday, March 31, 2010

9:06 p.m.

Even Spring needs its LBD.

Headless Outfit Series: Glimmers of Spring

Belted, big color and florals

Patterns and military-inspired colors

Can't forget twirling capabilities


More Denim

Silky soft fabrics, florals and crops.

4:05 p.m.

Surprised to find this in the Guardian.
Oh, Ben's Chili Bowl, you are an enigma. Presidents and slews of other post-concert-going-drunken-20-year olds are worthy of your beyond-delicious chili.

Photo here

3:54 p.m.

Sorry about the rant below this post.

Anyway, I think I found my style twin. Her name is Camélia Jordana, a contestant on Nouvelle Star, and she's super cute.

Do you see!? Do you see the adorableness!?
photos via French Elle


What French Elle did for its Curvy Issue is daring, important and hopefully not just a trend. But, it's still a "special issue." Is it necessary to only do features with curvier/plus-size models? What's worse is when there is a subtle, apologetic explanation in headlines for the curvy-ness: Embrace Your Curves! If You've Got It, Flaunt It! Big is Beautiful!

I know, I shouldn't be complaining. This, after all, is progress.

And like my friend Cathryn said, what about the rest of us? You know, the ones who sit comfortably between model-thin and plus-size? What about the US-size 6-12s!? What about simply implementing a more diverse size range throughout an entire magazine? Seeing that sort of variety in departments and features would help us realize and remember that there is no such thing as typical, and yes, any girl can rock stripes if she wants to.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

3:14 p.m.

I am in desperate need of a new bag. But it can't be just any new bag. It needs to be a slightly slouchy, buttery leather, messenger, lap-top-holding, stuff-keeping, anti-theft protected, not-at-all-manly but minimalistically feminine bag with an extra interior buckle, tough zipper or snap to keep my stuff safe AND a reinforced, padded shoulder strap. Oh, and it has to last forever.

I only get one chance at this.

Am I reaching for the stars here? Not really.

Do you have any suggestions on where to find such a bag? What would your perfect bag look like? How would it function?

Monday, March 29, 2010

6:57 p.m.

When it is necessary that I temporarily vacate my life in Columbia, I am lucky to be able to visit my parents in the house where I grew up and know that, no matter the weather, level of busy-ness or length of my stay, I will have a good time and we will eat good food.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

12:34 p.m.

For a lesson in draping and a quick word on the issue of sizing, you know what to do.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

1:57 p.m.

I've spent at least the past eight minutes daydreaming about the home of artist/gallerist Corey Daniels. I love how the eccentricities of Daniels are revealed throughout his home and the attached gallery. How can a space be both so lavish and sparse?

Read about it here.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

10:45 a.m.

Anyone I've ever lived with will attest to the fact that on most mornings, half of my closet ends up in a frenzied explosion across the floor, in chairs and all over the bed. This tornado of fabric, debris of shoes and hazard of accessories is the result of my frequent attempts to look and feel both effortlessly comfortable and stylish in what I wear. I used to try to tell myself that I just liked throwing clothes around, or I was just looking for that one shirt. Here's the truth: I had no idea what to wear, and the outfit I planned in my head was not working. It is a difficult thing to admit.

Hi, my name is Sarah, and I spend an insane amount of time "developing" and trying on ensembles that are, many times, never worn, or they are seen by very few.

The thing about fashion is, if it looks like you tried, you didn't try hard enough. No one wants to look vulnerable or unconfident in what they wear; it's not flattering to your personality, and you aren't doing yourself any favors. I have made (and continue to make) so many mistakes when it comes to clothes — buyers remorse; low-waisted, boot-cut jeans; cable-knit sweaters; the '90s. However, I have always tried to make wearing clothes a fun adventure, and in this way, I'm learning -- through lots of mistakes and good outfits too -- about my own style. Although I adore patterns on top of patterns on top of patterns, it is important to know how to tone things down.

That's why I loved this piece, written by Jess Cartner-Morley, the Guardian's fashion editor and one of my favorites (make sure to watch her How-to-Dress series, which has been mentioned here). Ms. Cartner-Morley was invited, along with a number of fashionistas and fashionistos to meet the Queen. When she received the invitation, which suggested "day dress/lounge suit," she shrugged it off, and did what I and I'm sure many of us do: She put together an ensemble in her head and waited until the night before to try it on. Guess what? It didn't work, and she kind of freaked out. Just a little.

I imagine it would be difficult to meet the Queen when your world is defined by what's new and modern and trend-setting. Where is the line drawn between understated-demure and I-know-what-I'm-doing-Glam?

Whenever I have an interview, I always struggle with what to wear. How does one appear professional but still show people I'm creative? Luckily, for these occasions, I've picked up a few go-to pieces, which have gotten a lot of wear.

You'll have to read Ms. Cartner-Morley's piece to understand that her admission is coming from a true follower and master of fashion, and it means a lot! In the end, everything ended happily (Reiss really seems to come through for people), and we learned that many of the world's key fashion players also admitted to having trouble when it came down to what to wear. Maybe we all need to be a bit humbled by a Queen Mum-experience to realize that we might be over-thinking things, and we should just go with the wrap-dress.

To see if what they wore was Queen-worthy, check out this out.

Sidenote: Pay attention to what Jess Cartner-Morley writes concerning wedding attire; the season is upon us, and you'd better try things on before the eve of your best friend's big day!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

7:42 p.m.

Whoa. Hello dinner.

I was looking for a way to do a couple of things:
1. Try millet bread
2. Use up the rest of my spinach.

I've found variations of this recipe in a few places, and what I've gathered, is that it's based on espinacas con garbanzos, a Spanish tapas dish. I used an even simpler version on which to base my own recipe (I didn't have all of the spices). Anyway, it's super easy to make, well-cheap, and if you're as in love with chickpeas as I am, you probably have the bulk of what you need already in your pantry or fridge.

I loved this dinner so much, I'm going to tell you how I made it. Here's what you need:

-A little olive oil
-Two cloves of garlic
-Like, half an onion, kind of.
-One can of diced tomatoes or a bunch of fresh, chopped tomatoes with a bit of cilantro or basil and some more garlic mixed in*
-One can of chickpeas
-A bunch of handfuls of spinach

Put the olive oil, onions and garlic in a pan and let simmer for about two minutes. Add your tomatoes and a teeny tiny sprinkling of cumin (depends on how hot you like things). Bring the ingredients to a simmer, cover and let simmer again for 10 minutes. Then, dump in your drained and rinsed chickpeas. Let that simmer for five minutes. I added a little Italian seasoning and basil just because I felt like it. So much simmering!

In the meantime ! Grab some bread (I used this amazing, hearty and gluten-free millet bread). Dab a little bit of olive oil or butter on one side and smoosh some garlic all over it (yummm). If you have some parmesan, sprinkle some of that on too. Stick the pan in the broiler, and don't forget about it.

Once things have simmered, it's time to add your spinach handfuls at a time. Stir in each handful until it wilts. Once all of the spinach is deliciously wilted and dark green, add a bunch of fresh-cracked pepper.**

Remember that bread? Take it out of the oven once the edges are toasted. It's time to eat! You'll have enough for about three people (or enough for a dinner, a second dinner and a lunch for tomorrow!). And then watch the newest Simpson's episode because a special first lady tells us why Lisa rocks.

If you have a chance to make this dinner, or a version of it, I'd love to know what you think and what ingredients you used. Have fun!

*This is where I got creative because I didn't have tomato paste, but I think it was better because of all of the chunky tomatoes.
**I never really add salt to anything, but if you want to, add some salt around this time.

3:06 p.m.

Adore seems to be the only appropriate word to describe how I feel about the spring/summer collection of Mine. The sweetly wallflower-ish yet playful charm of the collection is catching. The designer, Katherine Pont, who was once an illustrator, now bases each collection on stories. Now, I can go for that.

Mine makes the most ardent lover of tights, excited to bare her fair skin just long enough to acquire the subtlest glow.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Remember to Submit to BodyTalk!

Remember to start tip-tapping your nimble little fingers away this week to submit something lovely to BodyTalk's Queer Issue. We want to hear from everyone!

Deadline is Friday, March 26. E-mail submissions to, and feel free to contact me with questions (

Sunday, March 21, 2010

10:17 p.m.

I was going to write about the excessive number of films I watched this weekend, but instead I thought I'd just profess my love for Disney's animated feature Robin Hood and tell you to rent it.

Also, the opening credits are so well done. It seems that Wes Anderson could have drawn inspiration from them.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

10:50 p.m.

More Musings From Your Downstairs Neighbor:

At 3 a.m. it sounded as if she had dropped a billiard ball, watched it roll down an indiscernible slope in the wood floor, picked it up when it thumped against the wall and repeated this act over and over again. Sarah, who slept in Apartment 2, was not losing her mind. The horrible sound was real. Alas, she had been awoken from a slight-fever-stuffy-nose-induced slumber by her elusive neighbor in Apartment Number 4, the one who, by Sarah's count, had not set foot in No. 4 since November. Sarah listened to two faintly-muffled voices through the vent, although she couldn't decipher the conversation.

"Please, please let this be a dream," whispered Sarah. She had been lucky enough to enjoy months without an upstairs neighbor, especially this one, who was notorious for schlomping in heels across hardwood floors at all hours of the night.

And that's when said schlomping began. It lasted an hour. Or, at least, Sarah dozed off after an hour of poorly attempting to mask No. 4's back-and-forth schlomping across the entire apartment with lots of duvet ruffling and nose sniffling. Sarah lacked the gumption to go upstairs and give No. 4 a piece of her mind.

"I'm too tired and groggy," Sarah thought, falling in and out of sleep. "I'll tell her tomorrow if she's still here. Why is it always 3 in the morning. Why?"

Sarah hoped, from the snot that dribbled down the tip of her nose to her icy cold feet, that tomorrow, No. 4 would be gone.

8:31 p.m.

A study in neutrals and blush.

7:46 p.m.

A odd first day of spring consisted mostly of snow and illness. This was mixed with Woody Allen films, random pages read out of random books, and a dash of boredom.

5:00 p.m.

Looking forward:

Paris (wishing all the time for a sunny visit!)

Graeme Todd

April needs to come soon.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

8:55 p.m.

Feeling very tempted. 

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

10:08 p.m.

Slowly Quiet

When T flies home, I have been lucky enough to always have a little post-visit time at my parents' house (we always book tickets to/from Kansas City). Spending time with family is a good way to prepare for the transition back to Columbia. I am still in a house with people; there is always opportunity for spontaneous conversation; I am not alone.

I never go back to Columbia on a Sunday. Instead, I wake up at dawn on Monday morning to make the two-hour trek back so that I can maybe have a coffee, and more importantly, get to work on time. A day like this helps me trick myself into thinking I have a lot to do. Going to work, unpacking, tidying up, going to the gym, and other sundry things distract me from what's missing. It usually isn't until I've made a late dinner that something starts to feel strange. And it isn't even T's direct absence from the apartment. It's the music. I have always cherished the quiet. The moans of an old building mixed with the sirens and cars humming down College Avenue make up the Windsor Street soundtrack. When T visits, the apartment is always filled with music. It's split between the keyboard in the living room and iTunes. The sexiness of Francoise Hardy floats through the kitchen as T flips over the salmon and pours a glass of wine (almost simultaneously). Our laughter, my crummy dance moves and Major Laser host an impromptu party in the office. Goldmund lilts us into a lunchtime nap. Our days are filled with so many songs, it's impossible for one to get stuck in my head.

Without T, I do listen to music, but a lot of the time things are quiet. I decompress. I'm left alone with my thoughts. This is normally okay, but for the first couple of weeks that he is not here, I require constant musical and vocal distraction. Gradually, Hot Chip turns into Beach House turns into Kings of Convenience turns into All Things Considered, until I am back to only me and my quiet and the simmer of salmon in the pan.

I'm nearly there. Tonight, Fred Child and Performance Today were carried in from the car to the apartment. The Irish National Orchestra filled my bedroom with Mendelssohn's Italian Symphony, and a Chopin Nocturne followed me to the kitchen. Jon Stewart kept me company while I ate dinner, and by 9 o'clock, it was just me and the Windsor Street soundtrack.

9:29 p.m.

Onion Skins and Armor was a great show. We had a wonderful turnout, and we received encouraging and positive feedback. Many thanks to Joel, his wife Jeni, Tom, Melik and Jason, who helped frame, hang, host, etc (everything that made the show possible).

It was a busy, but amazingly fun day spent with friends. And the sunset couldn't have been more beautiful. Here's how it went down: Urban Outfitters splurging; Winstead's grilled cheese eating; show hanging; iced chai tea sipping; sun-sitting; show opening; lots 'o fun chatting; delicious dumpling chowmping; pretty-disappointing-but-not-gonna-ruin-the-night dessert having; happy sleeping.

Onion Skins and Armor is on view until the end of March by appointment only. Contact me if you're interested in seeing the show, and I'll help you set something up!

Photos by Tom Loughlin

9:25 a.m.

I designed a handbook for Americans for Informed Democracy and Advocates for Youth, two national organizations that are working to create legislation and to reform sexual and reproductive health and rights on a global level.

The organizations asked for a design that was similar to BodyTalk, but I didn't want the two to look like sister publications (maybe they're just cousins). Although some of the audience is the same as BodyTalk, the handbook is clearly not a zine. I wanted to include colors that would pull you in, and I stuck with a handful of graphic elements. To me, it was really important to keep a consistent look. I didn't want people to get thrown off by the 40+ pages of the handbook, but I also didn't want them to be confused by tons of varying images. I think it's always more fun when designers can set their limitations in a project than when the client implements the restrictions. I was really lucky to have a project like this — one that allowed for so much creative freedom and flexibility.




Tuesday, March 16, 2010

3:32 p.m.

Really helpful lesson on mixing fonts. Get over to H&FJ!

Submit to BodyTalk!

Friends —

Some of you may know that I design BodyTalk, a zine that explores sexuality, health and important social issues. We are looking for contributing illustrators and writers for the Queer Issue, and we would love to hear from you!

Write nonfiction, fiction, poetry. Do an interview. Write something short. Write something long. Something that makes us laugh or cry. Make a collage. Draw us a picture. Create a comic. Make the Queer Issue anything you want it to be.

And don't hesitate to pass this announcement around—we want to hear from anyone, anywhere.

Send your submissions to by March 26.*

Oh, yeah—become a fan on Facebook too!

*If necessary, we can be flexible on the deadline.

9:26 a.m.

For shame!
I should have worn my camel hair coat much more this season. Maybe it will get colder again? Or I could bust out the camel-colored leather safari jacket? It's just not the same!

edit: Thank you, Mother!!! for having said leather safari jacket sent to the cleaners. The best! The best! I tells ya.