Remix and Reality

Left: Top, Burlington Coat Factory | Cardigan, Macy's | Leggings, Burlington | Boots, Burlington 
Right: Sweater, Target | Boots, Old Navy | Bag, c/o Sammydress ($19) |Necklace, Maxnina | Hair bow, Rire Boutique

The bag in these photos was sponsored by Sammydress, but all opinions are my own. I find the color cognac truly versatile, and this brown bag is no exception. While the strap is too short to be a cross-body bag, it still makes for a chic shoulder bag with ample room. At $18.78, the bag is a quality steal--I love the luxe glossy sheen. Be sure to check Sammydress out--as an Asian wholesale retailer, they have a huge selection of trendy, affordable items.

Detachment.

It best describes my state of mind lately. I feel like I've been floating, observing life from the outside. It's so surreal.

A boy in my grade passed away earlier this week. I had only talked to him once, before the ACT, but I remember that he was an engaging conversationalist with a genunine smile. He had the rare charisma that brightened each person's day. He wore cowboy boots to school, not caring that they made him stand out. 

He committed suicide.

The announcement at school was so unnerving. Many of my classmates had just seen him a couple days ago at our winter formal dance. What a harsh jolt to reality. Only three more months, and he would've graduated. Then began college. Then entered the real world. 

He was an only child. And I can still hear the mournful cries of his faithful dog at his candlelight vigil.

I didn't know him well, so I decided it would be flippant to attend his funeral. I feel guilty even writing about it in this post, but I mean for this blog to encompass my entire life, the frivolous and the profound, and this tragedy has forced me to come to terms with reality.

It's another painful reminder that life is so precious. It's another reminder to grasp each opportunity before it disappears. It's another reminder to acknowledge how much your loved ones mean to you. It's another reminder to renounce going through the motions and just live.

I've decided to take a month and a half blogging hiatus from March 5th to April 17th, coinciding with Lent, the bulk of track season, and college decision time. Social media has been making me feel funny lately, and this event only encourages me to step away from the computer screen. More details will follow in the next post.

Life hasn't been all lugubrious lately though. It's heartbreaking news one day, happy the next. I'll have to be vague until April, but there's life for ya. 

Anyways, these thoughts are for all those who are struggling. Who fiercely try to search for light in darkness, but come up empty-handed. For the people whose lives appear flawless on the outside, but face complete internal turmoil. For the people who question their worth and purpose. For the little boats looking for a harbor (reference to Death of a Salesman, Arthur Miller). 

There is light. There is hope. There is purpose. There is a somewhere you belong. Keeping looking. Stay strong.

I'll leave you with this quote. It's getting late, so I'll reply to comments tomorrow. I hope you know that I love you guys and cherish the friendships I've formed via blogging. I care about each and every one of you, and if you ever need anything or just want to chat, don't hesitate to shoot me an email.

"Death leaves a memory no one can heal, but love leaves a memory no one can steal." --an Irish epitaph
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Review: Beauty Box Five

This post is sponsored by Beauty Box Five, but all opinions are my own.
Packages in the mail will always hold a special place in my heart (especially in the season of college decisions), and I was ecstatic to return home this mint beauty from Beauty Box Five a few days ago.

If you haven't heard of Beauty Box Five, it's a subscription program that sends you quality beauty samples each month, free shipping and all. If you'd like to test it out for yourself, a monthly subscription (one box) runs $12, a quarterly subscription (three boxes total) is $30, and a yearly one (twelve boxes total) is $99. There are also gift orders, so they're the perfect solution for your beauty guru friend.

The boxes feature a theme, and mine was "That Awkward Moment"--three words that uncannily embody this girl's life.

Between the Lines

Blazer, Marshall's | Top, Chicnova | Skirt, LC Lauren Conrad | Tights, Vera Wang | Shoes, Kohl's
Bank parking only. Violators will be towed.

"Augh, are you kidding me?" Inching my way into the cramped parking lot, I groaned upon reading the harsh words on the black and white sign. I glanced at the time on the dashboard. Good. I still had fifteen minutes before call time, plenty to scrounge about for a decent parking space.

"Wait, we should be allowed to park here. Banks are closed on Sundays," My mother reasoned from the passenger seat, accompanying me to watch my orchestra concert.

"Yeah, that's true. Does it say anything about exclusions?" I peered over the steering wheel, scrutinizing the sign.

My mother squinted. "No," She answered after a moment.

"Well, we'd better be safe and find another space," I sighed.
Little did we know that the fine print beneath the bold letters allowed parking on Sundays. 

We could've saved ourselves plenty of trouble if only we had read the sign carefully. We eventually turned into a parking garage, where the poor car got a scuff on the paint.

Lesson number one: read the fine print.

If only I had remembered that while completing my AP Chem lab yesterday. My lab table, fittingly self-named the "Asian Disasters," plowed through several timed trials completely wrong. None of us had read the lab instructions carefully enough, so we tested the temperature change of chemicals while the thermometer was still in the sample. We were supposed to have removed the thermometer to measure the cooling effect of evaporation. 

Lesson number two: read the instructions.
The lessons are so simple, but so easily overlooked. Luckily, we were able to run all necessary trials again correctly in Chem, and the scuff on the car can easily be fixed with a small paint job. These will remain as reminders to be more astute, to carefully read all signs and instructions. 

After all, "Our lives are not determined by what happens to us, but how we react to what happens..." (Anonymous). Ideally, we would learn from our mistakes the first time we make them, but that doesn't always happen. We are only human.
Just a little public service announcement for you all I suppose. I know I'll definitely be paying closer attention everything from now on.

As for the concert, it was fun but mildly uneventful--in the warmup room, I finished some AP Lit reading, helped some people with calculus, got some help in calculus, was introduced to Flappy Bird, chatted with friends, and tinkered around on some tricky violin passages. For all you music geeks, we performed three movements from Prokofiev's Cinderella Suite, though I wished we had also played Respighi's Pines of Rome. If you'd like to read more about my passion for orchestra, read this post. I actually have a much nicer, revised version, but it was a college supplement, so I'll wait to share that until summer.

And this outfit was something I wore to a recital in December, so it seemed only fitting to shoot it with my violin. While snow stops no fashion blogger, it does stop century-old violins, so we retreated indoors for this one. Other than school and college prep, violin, running, and blogging basically sum up recent happenings.

I've been feeling a little funny lately. Too much time on social media leads to existential crises. I've recently gotten a Tumblr and Twitter, and boy, do they suck the life out of ya (mostly tumblr). It boggles my mind to think of how many blogs there are out there and how mine is a drop of water in the vast ocean. It's even crazier when translated to people--I'm just one out of billions. That's why I love Humans of New York. You encounter people whose stories make you smile or perhaps even strongly resonate with yours--and these are all souls you may have never encountered otherwise. It's made me consider starting my own Humans blog in my tame ol' Midwest hometown--there are so many interesting people I would've loved to talk to, but in this day and age, you don't walk up to random strangers and talk to them without a valid excuse. This blog would be my excuse.

Anyways, I'm trying to practice this all in moderation--the occasional breaks social media can do you much good. Check my new platforms out if you like and tell me what you think of my Humans idea. I'll just be here--studying for tests, writing essays, practicing violin, conditioning for track, surfing the web, arranging outfits, shooting photos, pondering the meaning of life.

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Guest Post: Olivia of All Those Little Things

Hey friends, I'm having Olivia take over today with a guest post! I've been keeping up with all your blogs and promise to leave you little notes as soon as I can. In the meantime, read all about lovely Olivia, and check out the guest post I did for her blog here!
Hello all you lovely readers of Imperfect Idealist! I'm Olivia, from All Those Little Things! I first met Lily over email when she posed interest in me helping her with some blog design... after many long emails I am so happy to have founded a great friendship with another blogger and such a fabulous girl! 
All right so I'll tell you a bit about my self I suppose! 
okay to state the obvious, I LOVEEEE fashion, but you see I am a HUGE thriftfanatic, practically all of my clothes are thrifted. I mean why pay the full price (which nowadays is typically pretty pricey...) when you can get the same exact thing for as low as 99¢! Such great deals are impossible to pass up! And there are always such amazing vintage and unique things that turn up around in Goodwills and other thrift stores, so I own many things that are one of a kind and simply irresistible! 
I love brunch. 
every Sunday my dad and I go on a hunt throughout our town trying to find the perfect/best eggs Benedict and french toast/pancakes. We rate all of the restaurants and give them our own little personal reviews, it's fun we are mini food critics hahaha, it's a tradition what can I say..... 
If I could live in one outfit it would be overalls and stripes.
perfection. It's comfortable, adorable, casual and totallllly cute!
I love theatre (that's me messing around in my school theatre's costume shop hehe) I feel so natural up on stage in front of hundreds of people, whether it be acting or singing (more so singing) I just get such a great energy boost from performing...
I love photoshoots, if I am in front of the camera or behind it, doing a photoshoot with some friends or family is my favorite thing to do. If I am ever sad, down or however blue, I just pick out a super cute outfit, grab my camera and I'm out the door! Then editing and uploading the photos to my blog is a joy too... It always makes me happy no matter what, I just love doing it!
I am a big fan in expressing myself through my hair/hairstyles. I have tried, long (never past my shoulders though because I change it so much ha!) super short, ombré, blonde, blonde that kind of failed and turned into an orange, super dark... I've done it all, or so all to the extent my mother is willing to let me do...  
I have maiden braids in here... I love braiding, I kind of have a knack for it I guess heheh...
right now, I have a short Katie Holmes/Karlie Kloss inspired haircut, I asked to go back to my natural brownish color, but it was a little darker than anticipated..... ehh.... I still like it though :)
It's all the little things in life that make me the happiest.... Like snow... when it snows, boy am I happy.. It's the beautiful dark trees outlined in pure white lining and the ground all around a bright crisp white, absolutely breath taking. 
I just turned 16 on the 28th of January and it feels grrrrreat!!! Honestly... no different than 15 really. 
So that's me in a nutshell! Thanks for reading, and check out my blog every now and then :)

Thanks for having me Lily! 

xoxolivia.

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