Peacoat, Sears | Boots, Old Navy | Scarf, grocery store
Saturday, July 26, 2014
Labels: bargain shopping tips
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Work outfit: Dress, Forever 21| Blazer, Marshall's | Necklace, eFoxCity | Heels, Payless
Photos by George Liu
I've recently developed so much respect for people who work on their feet every day. As outsiders--casual shoppers in a department store, parched teenagers looking for a resfreshing summer drink, bustling adults running errands--it's easy to overlook things. When did that grocery store cashier wake up for work? How long has that salesperson been standing? What crazy hours does that barista tackle?
My parents insisted that I work this summer, and I can't help but be extremely grateful--it's a perspective changer. After four full days at Nordstrom, I now finally understand. I understand the aching feet. I understand the burnt-out mind. I understand that working is exhausting, regardless of whether you're a burger-flipper or an engineer. And both are equally respectable, for everyone has different stories.
That fast-food restaurant employee? He may be a recent immigrant trying to pave a new life in a foreign world. That weary hotel concierge? She may not have slept in the past three days, working back-to-back shifts of two jobs. It's not easy. Immediate appearances are a mere glimpse into a situation; they're far from the whole story. And this applies universally. That moody woman? She was just diagnosed with cancer. That sweaty pack of athletes running extremely slowly? They're not out of shape--they're on a cool-down after finishing an excruciating workout.
So be mindful. Be gracious.
* * *
Definitely took a little detour there with my wandering thoughts of the week. Working has definitely been hard, but it's also been fulfilling. It's gratifying to help a customer find that perfect leather jacket or that trendy sweater in the catalogue. I'm only temporary, so I'm not commissioned like most employees, but I've still had a few customers mention me at the registers. There's nothing like feeling competent and useful. I also get to dress up and work with clothes--what's not to like? More about what I've learned while working retail to come!
As for these two looks, the second is actually what I wore to my Nordstrom interview a couple weeks ago, but sans the heels and gold flats in their place. I snagged the red bodycon dress for only $4 last year, and it's been such a versatile piece. I'm a huge fan of layering, and bodycon dresses are ideal for throwing circle skirts over--it completely transforms an outfit.
Sunday, July 6, 2014
1. go to whichever college with a smile and my intense drive, regardless of whether it was where I had originally hoped [in progress]
My first goal has yet to actually occur since I don't leave for orientation until late August. While I originally doted on Princeton, I'm certainly not unhappy about the way things turned out (more college thoughts to follow in a later post). Liberal arts schools have undeniable benefits--for one, I'm certainly looking forward to insightful discussions in Amherst's small class setting. More updates to come!
2. finish high school with nothing below an A- ✓
I did it, with AP classes bringing my GPA up to 4.317! While the inescapable plague of senioritis was certainly real, I take great ownership in everything I do, regardless of the situation.
3. complete an official half marathon in under two hours ✓ + updated
Done in 1:51:20. New goal: run a full marathon without stopping this fall.
4. chop my hair off and donate it after graduation (length and charity TBD) [postponed/modified]
Well, graduation came and went, and my long hair is still intact. I've grown a little too attached, and it doesn't help that I've found a loophole in my own goal: I didn't specify when after graduation. So I'm technically still in the clear haha. In lieu of this goal, I donated whole blood last week at the Red Cross--blood is certainly more vital than hair. It was mildly intimidating and my parents were extremely concerned about side effects, but my friend and I both made it out just fine and faint-free. I even finally got to find out my blood type! ✓
Sunday, June 22, 2014
My English teacher once told me that my life is like a soap opera. At that moment, I couldn’t agree more: it was prom night, and I had just gotten into a car accident.
Fortunately, no one was injured, and all cars were still drivable. But not-so fortunately: I was at fault. I had rear-ended a car, which then dominoed and rear-ended another car. After pulling over, all the drivers and passengers gathered on the sidewalk of the bustling downtown street. I opened with a profuse apology. I then prepared myself for the worst.
“Were you drinking?” The woman from the first car asked bluntly.
I was mildly offended by her immediate response, but I couldn’t blame her. I was a teenage driver, and my friends and I were dressed for prom—her conclusion was undeniably logical, albeit stereotypical.
So I simply shook my head. “No, I was looking for my hazard lights.”
And it was the truth, as strange as it sounded. I couldn’t help but feel utterly stupid that night. Because I hadn’t known where my hazard lights were, I had dragged two friends, five strangers, and myself in to this mildly-traumatic mess. The restaurant valet had turned my hazard lights on when returning my car, but I didn’t notice until I was on the road. While frantically searching for them, I didn’t notice that traffic had stopped, and here we were now. Just a few seconds of inattentiveness and ignorance and plain stupidity led to large wrinkles in eight people’s nights and possibly beyond. The two young men in the second car were heading out for the night. The family in the first car was heading home after a long day. And my friends and I would’ve been heading to prom.
Instead, we were all waiting for the police. As miserable as the situation sounds, I actually learned a lot during that hour of downtime. For one, I learned that I can’t say the alphabet backwards. A sobriety test seemed likely considering the woman’s first question, so my friends and I began hastily preparing—especially because I seriously doubted my ability to recite the alphabet backwards, sober or drunk. I was right. Failed attempts led to fits of giggles, and before long, we were somehow enjoying ourselves. And instead of retreating to our respective cars, the eight of us involved in the accident remained gathered on the sidewalk to chat.
I found it strange that the people whose nights I had probably ruined could be so friendly. I, for one, was still mentally chastising myself. But their forgiving attitudes slowly made me realize that while a completely smooth life journey is ideal, speed bumps and uneven roads are inevitable. And though individual obstacles may vary, mishaps and challenges are universal. That was now for me, and they understood.
If only my parents and insurance would understand as well. When I called to break the news to them, mom and dad had simply been relieved that we were all safe. But insurance rates were sure to shoot up, and my hopes of having a car for the summer quickly plummeted. Would my parents even let me drive again? Would any parents still trust me with their kids?
The accident was so unfortunate that it was almost funny. I laughed bitterly. “What is my life? This is literally the worst thing possible that could happen to us on prom night.”
But was it? Dualism is everywhere—through this unfortunate event, I realized how fortunate I was. It could’ve been much worse. There could’ve been injuries, damages could’ve been severe, and the people I hit could’ve been furious. Instead, we were all safe, the cars were still operable, and the people were extremely gracious. While we missed all but twenty minutes of prom (don’t fret, we made it to after prom), my friends and I managed to make the most of our misadventure. I’m grateful to have friends who instead of sulking, comforted me, offering me their favorite sweatshirt when temperatures dropped and adding their own lighthearted touches with sobriety test runs and police car selfies. We also truly enjoyed our roadside conversations with the others, especially since the woman who had questioned my sobriety was not only a skilled conversationalist, but also had a great sense of humor.
While I didn’t actually have to take a sobriety test that night, I did have to appear in court two weeks later; I had gotten an ACDA (Assured Clear Distance Ahead) ticket, and for those under eighteen, court appearances for tickets are mandatory. It’s not nearly as intimidating as it sounds, and my judge even waived my fine since it was a first offense. And now, almost two months later, I’m happy to report that none of my fears actually occurred—I’m still driving, I have my dad’s old car, and insurance actually decreased because I turned eighteen. So in reality, I was really, really lucky.
I was far from enthusiastic to live that night’s juicy episode of my soap opera life, but I can’t deny that it was a valuable learning experience. I now can more gracefully maneuver life’s rocky roads—and turn on my hazard lights if necessary.
Well, I did it again friends. I vanished from the blogosphere and took more than my good sweet time returning. Much has happened again--like I mentioned, I'm now legal, which also means I'm no longer labeled a "juvenile traffic offender" from the accident. I guess I'm just a normal traffic offender now haha.
But in all honesty, I was really just being finnicky about the text for this post. It was definitely a large event with a large impact, so I wanted to do it justice. Then, of course, life took over with countless grad parties and job hunting, so I couldn't help but take another posting hiatus. I've missed you all quite a bit and can't wait to hopefully keep up less sporadically this time!
Anyways, this lovely purple number sponsored by eShakti reminded me of the long, elegant prom dresses, so it seemed fitting to tell this story with these photos. I wouldn't say the dress is formal enough for prom, but it's certainly too formal to wear on a lazy summer day, so I'm still looking for an opportunity to wear it out. Needless to say, I felt quite awkward snapping these photos with my tripod and remote in the middle of a busy park. But that awkwardness is definitely a challenge to overcome as a fashion blogger--just gotta do our thing and strut our stuff regardless! Overall, I'm quite happy with the dress though I wished I had done custom sizing like usual because the standard size 4 was too large. Definitely take advantage of eShakti's custom measurements, but give an inch or two of leeway so the dress isn't too small. They have a fresh, quality selection so make sure to give em a look-see.
If you want to see actual prom photos, take a gander at these below:
Looking forward to stopping by your blogs soon. Until next time.