Monday, February 25, 2013

Oppa Gingham Style

Happy Monday everyone! 

I have a confession to start with. I am obsessed with Gangnam Style. And I am not ashamed. People love Harlem Shakes and lip syncs of Call Me Maybe. But I love Gangnam Style. I think the whole thing is just great fun and hilarious. My awesome little brother and I can do the whole dance and entertain the rest of family with it on a regular occasion. It is on my Pump It Up morning playlist next to Barbra Streisand and One Direction and The Cranberries. I am even listening to it while I write this blog post.

So that is my Monday confession.

This week is already taking off, and next week is midterms and the week after that is Spring Break and then and then and then... I hope I have the steam to get everything done and avoid double-booking myself - that's always hard. 
 It is important for me to find ways to de-stress as well. I am no good to myself if I make myself sick. And, as a college student, my destressing has to be cheap or, better yet, free. So very little shopping, even with all the wonderful thrift and consignment stores here.

I have reading, and this blog and, of course, my shows.  So my new show obsession is pretty split between The Big Bang Theory

And The Walking Dead

I love them! They're interesting and each is exciting in it's own way.  There's really no deep philosophical reason why I watch these shows. They don't make me ponder the reason of life. And that is totally ok!  

For church yesterday, I went out on a limb fashion-wise. And I loved the outfit. It fun and exciting and little bit fairy-flapper-grunge style.
Military jacket - thrifted $6 
Dress - thrifted $15
Tights - Target $5
Boots- thrifted $5
Necklace- thrifted $0.99
Owl Pin - Gift from my Little Brother



Ok, and then my hair, which my mom, who was visiting for the weekend, did for me. It was so great. I feel like it is the closest to a dread look I will ever get, and it showed off my ombre really well.

And that headband is just a scrap piece of green and white gingham that she wove through the hair into the low ponytail. When we wound up parts of the ponytail, we spiraled into them as well.

Happy de-stressing, and fashionista-ing, and happy day in general!
Love, 
Chloé

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Be Soft

Today is a day that I am having less than charitable feelings toward my ex. And I am told that that is normal. But one of the reasons I started this blog was to get those feelings out of me so I could really think about them. 

Total honesty. So here we go.

Boys - please don't ever tell a girl you are going to marry her just because you think its a good thing to say, and, by default, don't plan most of your wedding with her if you don't mean it. Don't lie to her. And don't keep her around for sex, or for money, or because you don't want to be alone. That's not fair to either of you.

Girls - don't be stupid. If your instinct tells you to run, run. Don't stay because you don't want to be alone. And don't, because your gut is telling you something is wrong, try to fix it by clinging tighter to what you had. Because that's not fair to either of you.

You deserve happiness. And, just because you made each other happy for a while, that does not mean that that is all there is. That he is the only person that will ever make me happy. Because he also made me miserable.

And it took a lot of courage for me to finally walk away.


Be soft. Let life teach you lessons, but not make you hate. Let yourself be wise, but not heartless. Stay sweet, but also allow yourself to know that it's okay to hurt. That's it's normal to have good days and bad days, regarding all things in life.

The world is beautiful. And God will never take something out of my life without replacing it with something much better.

Ok. Self-indulgent rant over.

I love you all. And I hope that my writing candidly touches just one other person and helps give them whatever courage they need.

Love,
Chloé

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Faith And Trust And Pixie Dust

Peter Pan. One of the best books of all time. As well as one of the enduring and endearing stories, adaptation after adaptation.
Peter Pan, for all his flaws and arrogance, maintains his youth and childlike wonder. The world and what it offers never ceases to amaze him.
 
We, as young adults, are passing from life's preliminaries into the final round. We have to grow up a little bit and prepare to be adults and go to work and school and get stuff done. 

Just because we have to work does not mean we have to lose our Peter Pan-like wonder. In order to explore and see new things and take risks, I have to have my faith, and trust, and a little bit of pixie dust in order to get through anything. 

To me, that means that I have my faith - my faith in God and in myself - and my trust - in my skills, my practice, my teachers, and friends - and the pixie dust - which I see as a little bit of belief in the impossible, in magic, in luck. 
With those 3 things, how could I be grounded?  That is all Peter Pan needed to soar above the clouds and in between the stars. 

Happy thoughts can make us soar. And sometimes happy thoughts are hard to come by. That's where Peter Pan's love for the world comes in. Because he is constantly exploring and experiencing, he always has new happy thoughts to feed off of and keep him bouyant.
The animator's have reportedly said that Peter Pan was one of the hardest characters to draw because they had to create a character with the appearance of being weightless. To create a character with no mass.  To create a character who wasn't weighed down by "real life."

Peter Pan's aren't always great at real life. They prefer magic, and magical thinking, a world filled with promise - like a bottomless cookie jar -- and no demise.

However crazy this might seem - or 'unrealistic', as cynics always call dreamers - people need Peter Pan's too. It's the levity that helps to keep us afloat, the magic that gives us lightness of touch -- what the French call legerdemain -- grace under pressure, wonder, and hope.

The eternally young are always beginning, delighted by what lies ahead. We need to believe in beginnings.

Love,
Chloé

Friday, February 22, 2013

Let's Be Snowflakes.


 Today, Mother Nature decided to bless us with a little baby blizzard.  Clearly, I am oh so happy about this.
It isn't really very much snow and, since it is Moscow, I know it's not going to stick very long. Which is good because I really don't like being cold or walking in the snow.

I decided that February is meant to tease you into believing spring is near only to crush you with a snow storm. Since I do not really want to go outside at all, I have spent my day cooking, and baking, and reminiscing with 90s rom-coms. 
My beautiful little blueberry muffins

But the snow - and this very quiet week - has left me feeling restless and thoughtful. 


Neil Gaiman, author of Stardust, says, “Lives are snowflakes - forming patterns we have seen before, as like one another as peas in a pod (and have you ever looked at peas in a pod? I mean, really looked at them? There's not a chance you'd mistake one for another, after a minute's close in.”
 Our lives are patterns, weaving together and taking similar paths, but the differences all lie in the details. 1000s of students attends the University, taking the same classes as me, buying the same clothes, and at first glance, people might think I am just another young adult.

But I am not. You are not. We are as differently and as wonderfully made as snowflakes or peas.

Why would I settle for being a paper, cut-out snow flake when I can be a real, crystal snowflake?

Let's be real!

Let's be unique!

Let's be beautiful!

Finding myself has been an adventure. It's been crazy. I don't think I have found myself yet. I don't there ever will be some sort of final product. But who needs one?

I think it is better to always be a work in progress. Being at a standstill and thinking you have your life planned is lame.

I have so many things to learn and experience and I have a ton of work to do on myself creatively, spiritually, physically, and mentally. Why would I decide to be done, call it good, and just sit and wait in that spot till I die? 

I think I'll stay in motion. Let life move and change me for a little bit. Let the pattern of my life get more detailed and more special.

In the last week, I got a second piercing. And dyed my hair ombré. You know why? 

Because I can. And I am young. And this is my time to try new things and add them to my repertoire. Or to my pea pod. Or to my snowflake's pattern. Whatever analogy you prefer. 


Happy snowy day and stay cozy.

Love, 
Chloé. 



Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Flannel Love.

There's a really adorable trend going around Pinterest right now and that is flannel with pearls. So I thought I would share my take on it

I really love this outfit. I thought it was fun and feminine and a little quirky. So, here it is! 
 
Pearls - Grandmother's Pearls, Flannel - Goodwill $4, Skirt- Maurices $10, Tights - Rue21 $4

Heels - Thrifted $3
Altogether, a very inexpensive outfit, all bought either at thrift stores or on clearance! I love clearance racks. So much.

It's an addiction.

Here's to some shopping inspiration!! 

Love,
Chloé
 

Monday, February 18, 2013

The Music That Makes Me Dance

 There's this great old Barbra Streisand musical called Funny Girl - I am sure most of you have heard of it. The semi-biographical plot is based on the life and career of Broadway, film star and comedienne Fanny Brice and her stormy relationship with entrepreneur and gambler Nicky Arnstein, and some of the greatest Barbra standards come from it: Funny Girl, Don't Rain On My Parade, and My Man.

And also a short, sweet, wonderful song, that was cut from the movie, called The Music That Makes Me Dance. Fanny sings it as her husband is being taken to prison, and she is trying to convince herself to stay with him, to stay strong, and that their love is strong to face anything. And the thing is she knows she's wrong. SPOILER ALERT- they break up! The couple does not stay together in the end. They part ways after he is released from prison to have their own lives.

So this song is actually very mournful and reflective as opposed to peppy and happy. And it is just beautiful. I am lucky enough to have it in my repertoire this semester and I got to perform it this morning for a musicale.

video
Besides adoring the song, I do have an emotional connection to it. My ex and I went back and forth for so long, trying to the force the relationship into working when it just didn't anymore. And, now that I'm truly out of it, I get that that is okay. We spent so long unhappy with each other, treading the line between giving up and seeing how much we could really take.

Don't read this and think I hate him. Hating someone is exhausting. I'm disappointed, sure, that he lied and turned into the things he promised not too. But I really do wish him the best as we go forward in life. That's just healthier for me.
It's healthier to look into the light and to, in turn, try to wash that warm, yellow, light over everyone I love, much like Fanny did. She was star struck, in love with her husband, and in love with being happy. She loved to laugh and was an expert comedian and gave everyone she met a little bit on sunshine.But she also didn't give up on what she wanted - whether the dream was to be a star or be a good wife. There are a lot of lessons to take from Fanny regarding overcoming adversity.

Plus her story makes a great musical!
 
Sweater -F21 $5, Dress - Thrifted (Juicy Couture) $20, Shoes - Ross $10
Love,
Chloé

Friday, February 15, 2013

#foreveralone

February 15th. The day after Valentine's Day. Here we sit, trying to decide it is safe to venture out of our shelter into the post-Valentine's day fallout.
  
How yesterday was spent depended on your state of mind or our Facebook relationship status. Some received flowers, gave flowers, posted sweet nothings on Facebook, and still others just flooded the news feed with complaints about the aforementioned sweet nothings. 

I actually spent my Valentine's Day on a bus to Portland with some of the most wonderful people I know. But as an recently single girl, this Valentine's Day was a little tough. But since I didn't have the option to be sad in my bedroom, I decided to soldier out, armed with some Diva Music, humour, and a dash of bitterness, to face the Valentine explosion. 

 Don't get me wrong, I love Valentine's Day, and the idea of having a whole day to just be a sickeningly sweet as possible. I love it. I love all the cheese and romance that it lends. But this year, it made me sad and a little lonely. 

I am slowly trying to refine the ideas of 'being alone' and 'being lonely.' All too often, I think girls get hung up on the idea that they have no identity without a man to call their own. I probably make a "#foreveralone" joke everyday.
Of course, this is not to say that one never needs a man. Men are wonderful and strong and completely essential for the Earth, but we must love ourselves before we can ever hope to love someone else properly. 

However apprehensive I was for this Valentine's Day, I think it turned out to be one of the best I have experienced, infinitely better than last year.  I explored Portland with an incredible group of people, ate at Kells Irish Pub and at Voodoo Doughnuts. 
This is my jelly-filled voodoo doll doughnut, eaten in honor of being a single girl. He may have gotten a few extra jabs with the pretzel needle. 
Then, Melody and I exchanged Valentines with each other.
The Valentine I gave her said "Yoda-Delicious." We get excited about Star Wars.
Love this girl.
I spent my Valentine's Day with wonderful people. I got to go out, sing some gorgeous music and feel like a superstar, and be a little crazy with 27 of my friends trapped on a charter bus. I felt incredibly loved.

Because I do not need a man to discover who I am. And, apparently, who I am is lovable all on her own.

No matter how crazy you are dancing, don't let somebody tell you that you are doing it wrong.

Because the right person is going to join right on it.

Love,
Chloé.



 

   


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Priceless.

So, bright and early tomorrow morning (4:45, isn't that just UNGODLY???), the Vandaleers are off to Portland to sing at the regional NAFME conference. Of course, I cannot sleep. Isn't that just how it goes?

All these thoughts are whirling through my head at top speed - do I have everything packed? My music? Food? Cough drops? Vandaleers dress? Allergy pill?

And am I really ready for this concert? Do I know my music? Can I say my German? Am I good enough to sing in this incredible choir?

I got an email from my conductor last night, imploring me to make sure I was ready because I looked either lost or scared in a few pieces and I had to really think about which one of those was the honest answer. And, to be honest, I am terrified for this trip and the concert. Time to prove I deserve to be in this choir, and that he was right to want me to audition.

I've definitely come home feeling this way before.
I have a bad habit of sabotaging myself with self doubt and insecurity and second guessing, and that's what I have been doing to myself all week, in choir, and voice lessons, and relationships, and even my costume design class with something as silly as my figure's head angle.

Maybe taking 20 credits of performance and design was a little overwhelming for a perfectionist personality. I mean, I feel as though in order to be perfectly prepared for one thing, I have to neglect the others. So is total preparation for one thing better than passable preparation for all the things? Or am I just underestimating myself?

 What does my perfectionist personality have to do with this Vandaleers trip tomorrow morning? Well, I have worked my behind off prepping for this trip - I know my music and, even if I didn't, there is nothing I could do in the next 5 hours to prepare myself more. I have to trust myself and, if that's too hard, I have to trust that my director knew what he was doing when he put me in this choir.

Another 2013 resolution (I have a lot of them, bear with me) is to be less afraid. Supposedly, the words "do not be afraid" are written in the Bible 365 times. Now this could be totally not true, I haven't counted, but that does not make this sentiment any less true. Why would God say that so much if we were supposed to live life in fear?

Because we're not. We are supposed to leave fearless and step out in faith and trust that God has laid a safety net for us and that he is there to carry us through the hard times, whether those hard times are deaths, breakups, or choir concerts. And that is pretty reassuring, as long as I take a moment to remember He's there, every step, and to tell Him thanks for that.

I am incredibly honored to be a member in this choir. I get to sing with an incredibly talented group of people and work with a wonderful director. I can't imagine getting another chance to sing with a group of this caliber in my life: so while that is daunting, it is amazingly exciting.

So. Off to Portland we go, with excitement and anticipation, not fear and doubt.

Vandaleers Dress -$70, Black Flats - thrifted $5
Chance to sing with people I love - PRICELESS

Love,
Chloé.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

A bunhawk? What in the heck is a bunhawk?

Seriously. And that should say "going anywhere"

I am really guilty wearing my hair up ALL THE TIME. I like to sleep and it is really easier to sleep 5 extra minutes and  throw the lion's mane that is my hair up in top knot and call it good. It is really laziness, but I also like to point out that I have a lot of crazy curly hair and to actually style it is a huge time commitment and requires various sized curling irons and straighteners and an iron maiden and all sorts of instruments of torture.

So I found on Pinterest a fun solution for second day, rushing-out-the-house hair. And I call it a bunhawk. It's a little more fun and edgy than a normal bun and really easy to do.
The bunhawk!
Here is how to do it: section your hair into 3 ponytails, leave bangs for the last. Twist each section in the back into a bun, and bobby pin the bejeezus out of it. Then pull your bangs back into a little bit of a poof and bobby pin those down. Hairspray generously.

This was the first time I had done it, and I would say it took me about 5 minutes to create this "bunhawk." And I really loved the result.

Bunhawk Day look


Blazer - Vanity $15, Shirt - gift!! Jeans - Old Navy $25, Booties - Ross, $5, Wrist Brace - Walmart - $15.



Friday, February 8, 2013

What Is Probably Not An Appropriate Outfit To Chase Dinosaurs In

My personality is a little whimsical. Last night my sister and I were discussing this Pinterest board I have called "This is me" and how it is this weird mix of beautiful, whimsical photography, snarky e-cards, and nerdy things. And I was wondering if I needed to subdivide the board down... and Bailey says, "But whimsically snarky is kind of your thing."  So just go with me on this.

I have an unreasonable love of dinosaurs. Let me just confess that. It's right up there with my love of Star Wars, Ruby Red Squirt, and shopping. In my room, I have 4 stuffed dinosaurs. I finished reading Crichton's Lost World for the umpteenth time this morning. And I still watch Land Before Time, which I have my 3 favorite on VHS for my sick days - who am I kidding, I watch them whenever I want to. And I am not especially embarrassed by this.
A nice whimsical dinosaur picture to enjoy.
And now, an outfit that is probably not appropriate to chase a dinosaur in, but, man, if a dinosaur - an appropriately non-lethal one - were to show up, I would chase it just the same.

Shirt - free, Belt - Target $10, Shorts - Walmart $9, Tights - Target $6, Shoes - Forever21 $15
Necklace - Walmart $4.99


Let's live in a whimsically snarky way!

Love.
Chloé

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Knights in Shining Armor

(: She wore the dress, and I stayed home. :)
White Christmas.

This is one of my favorite movies. Of all time. And I watch it all year round. I watched it today, since I was sick on the couch, and, man, I just love it. Every time. And I am pretty sure this love does not just come out of fever.

This movie takes us back to a time when time was simple - the worst thing that could happen was the housekeeper eavesdropping on your well-intended phone call, causing the love of your life to temporarily leave, but then everything is fixed by a song and dance number and we all live happily ever after.

Bing (we're on a first name basis) has a good line about knights' in shining armor. He says something to the effect of "I don't know what your knight did to fall of his charger, but he'd really like to find a way to climb back up there." And that was the moment we knew that Bob and Betty had to get married, because he was her knight. 

No, that was actually once the boys dressed up in drag to help the girls escape the police, but I digress.

I don't know if, at this point in my life, I believe in those knights on chargers. I think that every girl is definitely a princess, but maybe she doesn't need a boy to save her. I think she, we, I can fight her, our, my own battles.

That dragons can be killed by knights, AND,  sometimes, we turn out to be our own knights.

Princess Leia is a badass. Sure, Luke and Han rescued her, but don't think for a second that she wasn't in that cell thinking of a way out of there. She didn't need a knight in shining armor: she could slay her own dragons, or Sith Lords or whatever.


And once she found and lost her knight, she went out and got him back. She walks into the gangster's house, pulls the pin on a grenade, and demands to be paid for it. And she gets him to hire her. Then, she strangles him and rescues her knight in a bronze bikini. WHAT? I think I need to get me one of those.
 
Betty was lucky to have a knight like Bob and Han was lucky to have a princess like Leia. But it's not like either of them sat around waiting for the other person to show up. They got stuff done to get what they wanted out of life.

One of the biggest issues I have with my ex is "Well, we'll just wait and see" and "Whatever happens happens." Um. No. Relationships take work and we have to be each others knights in shining armor. We have to be there to save each other from whatever dragons we face in life.

My knight in shining armor happened to be a moron in tin foil, unfortunately, but I relearned that I am also a warrior. I am a queen. And so are you.

Love.
Chloé.
.



Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Stripes. Dear Me.

Dress - Thrifted $7, Tights - Target $5, Socks - Walmart $3, Boots - Ebay $15

Blue Necklace - Goodwill .49, Robot T-Rex Necklace - GIFT!
So. Here's something I thought would be fun. Post outfits and prices and become a wild Pinterest sensation/inspiration! Right? Right. So here's that. But I am serious. Pin my clothes!

You might notice that that is a very colorful outfit. Very stripe-y. And purple tights? And crunched-up ankle socks??

This is NOT something 2012 Chloé would have put on. Sure, it's something she would have bought and LIKED to wear, but she did not have nearly the cajones and gumption to go out the door in that. But that was old me. Or I guess middle me, since high school me was very ballsy and had a "honey badger" attitude. Old Me wore what made her feel beautiful and acted how she wanted, no matter how "crazy," "eccentric," or even "obnoxious" that made her.

Then 2012 hit Chloé and she forgot who she was. She wore a lot of green because her boyfriend liked that color best (And I don't even like green!). She straightened her hair for him. She stayed in because she wanted to be a good girlfriend, or a good student, or whatever. She made "safe" choices. That 2012 version of me had lost her inner edge and her drive and made choices because those were the choices she was supposed to make.

My 2013 goal is to find me, again. To find that spice and zest for life. To sing loud. To travel. To be a glittering, huge, dynamic personality. To wake up and not worry about my weight or my curly huge hair or how big my butt is.

Everyone should give this a shot. It's pretty cool to wake up and feel free and easy, without the weight of the whole world on your shoulders.

Take it from a girl who has spent way to much time and a stupid amount of energy on what she thinks other people want her to do. Life is too precious and too beautiful to lose yourself, a wonderful creation of God, in the shuffle. And we deserve so much more than to be a subdued, watered-down version of ourselves.

And if making bold fashion choices are a part of that, then alright! Sounds good to me. I feel damn fine in this outfit, horizontal stripes across my hips or not. The Chloé I am finding this year just doesn't care.

And that, my loves, is a great feeling.

Love.
Chloé.

 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Hello, Hello!

First blog ever! 

Sure, I'm a few years behind the trend, but, here I am. As said in that nifty little mini bio, my name is Chloé, and I am lover of music, the theatre, crafts, fashion, nerdism (you'll see, that'll feature a lot of these posts), and a lover of beautiful things.

Something I find beautiful is people overcoming their struggles. There's a quote I like and it goes like this "An arrrow can only be shot by pulling it backwards. So when life is pulling you backwards with difficulties, it means that it is going to shoot you into something great. Just focus, and keep aiming." 



To put it lightly, 2012 was a tough year for me and this quote really inspired me. I count myself very lucky to have been able to come out of that year strong (and single) and ready to take the world on again, even as I get a little bit of healing done. 

So, I am starting a blog! A place to throw some thoughts out, to share my fashion ideas, to share some music, and rejoice in the beauty that is life!! 

Here's to looking ahead! 

Love.
Chloé.