Remember that time I ranted about how I hate design trends because people ignore what does and doesn't actually work in their room? Maybe I'm eating a few of my words today. Just one or two though.
Much like the perpetually popular skinny jean, bookshelves organized by color aren't flattering for everyone. In fact in my old apartment, they would have looked terrible and out of place and sort of like I am trying too hard. Which is what most design trends do. The problem with trends is that unless they are rooted in classic design movements like the Eames chair I want nothing to do with them. Now don't get me wrong, I love a good Eames chair, I do. I love seeing them everywhere because they are generally so awesome and pretty and I am still kicking myself for not snagging the white ones my grandparents used to own. But I loathe hearing people talk about them because that conversation always seems to go like this:
INT. EXTREMELY TRENDY COFFEE SHOP- DAY
Person A and Person B are both young, trendy 20-somethings who wear indoor scarves and oversize tortoiseshell glasses that show more of their cheek bones than their actual eyes, which probably don't need glasses in the first place. They are enjoying extremely bitter lattes and feeling good about their decisions in life, especially their decision to drink heinously expensive coffee that is organic and shipped in from the rain forest of a remote country that probably doesn't exist.
You know what I really need? An EAMES CHAIR. An EAMES CHAIR would make. my. apartment. O-M-G.
Oh yes, I just DIE over EAMES CHAIRS. I want one in every color in every corner of my loft and also at every table and maybe as a nightstand, side table and toilet paper holder as well.You really aren't a proper adult if you don't have at least one in your apartment. You're just, like, a regular chair owner with chairs from like Target. GROSS.
Yes, I will sell my soul and also possibly default on my student loans in order to acquire this paean to aesthetic greatness because without one in my life, my apartment is just a closet-sized Ikea storeroom and everything is the WORST and how will people know I'm cool and have excellent taste?
Let's pull out our iPhones and look on Etsy for some vintage EAMES CHAIRS right now!!!!
FADE TO BLACK
Enough of that tomfoolery.
Back to business.
In my current apartment, I have just one bookshelf and it is in my bedroom, which isn't lacking for color but could stand to look more visually organized. This weekend, I decided to give it a try and see how much of an impact it would truly make.
Here's what I learned: I read mostly black and white books so maybe I should start choosing my books by the color of their spine. As you can see, I am lacking in yellow and green ones.
But ALSO my bookshelf does look a lot cleaner and less cluttered so, fine. I will keep it this way. You win this time, trend!
Here, see for yourself: (and btw I didn't leave my dresser drawer open like a lazy slob, it's just broken because Helen used to own it and broke it) (but then gave it to me for free like a magical free furniture fairy so I can't complain.)
Not thrilling enough? Ok how about a side-by-side comparison:
You are so mesmerized by this, I know. Just wait until I tackle my closet, which is a place I wholeheartedly endorse organizing by color and also by sleeve-length.
Do you guys know Valentine's Day is a week from today? Well, if you're freaking out about what to get me, look no further than these handmade conversation heart cookies. I adore conversation hearts (just ask my mother who is forced to send them to me in bulk each year) and I also adore cookies (just ask....everyone I know) so naturally the idea makes sense.
Back when I was in college I had both the worst and the best valentine's day ever. Let me explain.
It happened in two parts:
Part I: The Worst
In which our plucky heroine is disappointed by life and love and also her bitches.
It was Senior year and like most people at my small liberal arts
college for girls who wear leopard print jackets and boys who wear
skinny jeans, I was stressed out and terrified about what would happen
to me after I graduated in a few short months. I spent the days
alternately worrying about the future and then drinking enough vodka to
forget the future existed. I also went to class, worked a few jobs,
interned, and blah blah blah I was functional. So Valentine's
Day was upon us and as most of my friends were single and sad about it,
we all decided to shun the holiday altogether and spend the evening at
California Pizza Kitchen binging on Thai Chicken Pizza and BBQ
Chicken Salads. After all, chicks before dicks, amirite?
That morning I woke up and went about my student
business and heard no word from any of my friends. That was not
surprising- we were all busy doing studenty things and everyone was
probably hung over from the obligatory 'tomorrow is Valentine's Day so
we should prepare by doing shots' party. But we'd never set a time to
meet up or figure out who could drive to such faraway lands as
Scarsdale. So I waited. And waited. And waited. And waited. Calls went to voice mail. Texts were unanswered.
Reader, my friends ditched me. On Valentine's Day.
Let me make that more clear in case you don't understand the true gravity of the situation: A single girl was ditched by her friends on the worst possible day of the year.
I cried. Like, buckets. I don't actually remember this, it just seems
like the logical next step. I probably threw some things
and also ranted-out loud, to the empty room- about how people are awful and who
needs friends anyway and fuck this holiday and so on and whatnot. I also probably destroyed my room looking for candy bars to console myself. Basically, I turned into a Kathy comic. ACKKKK!
BUT THEN I stopped feeling sorry for myself and salvaged the night like the champ I am.
Which brings me to:
Part II: The Best
In which said heroine makes the best of things, gets a little drunk, cuts her hair and finds some dude in her bedroom.
Since my dinner plans were officially ruined and I was on the
college student diet of bagels and diet coke, I was both starving and
emotional. Finding some trans fats took priority. I headed
over to the Pub, which is a crappy student hang out where they serve only
burgers and fries and stale popcorn and random sugary juices like V-8
Fruit Fusion that I could pretend were healthy and therefore an
acceptable meal replacement. If I wasn't going to have a classy meal at
CPK, I was going to live it up, goddammit. So I ate my weight in curly
fries while pretending I had scholarly reading to do that was DEFINITELY
more important than some lousy couples holiday. Except you know what is
awful about college students? The fact that they are willing to spend
Valentine's Day making out over veggie burgers in their college
cafeteria. And you know what is awful about artsycollege students? That
they think it is acceptable to treat every room as if it is their own
goddamn poetry reading. YES THERE IS A POETRY READING IN THIS STORY.
Clearly this plucky heroine had to get the hell out of there and figure out how to salvage the
So here's how I did that: I rented All About Eve, drank a big
gulp of Sprite and Peach Schnapps (shut up, I am awesome) and gave
myself bangs because, why not. And also, fuck hair! Already this night
had turned all sorts of fabulous. There I was, playing with my newly
chopped bangs and reciting Bette Davis's monologues in front of the
mirror when suddenly my bedroom window flew open and some random guy
jumped into my room.
What's this you say? A romantic development?! NO. YOU WISH.
It was some guy who was trying to surprise his girlfriend with two dozen
roses but whose girlfriend lived on the 3rd floor and he didn't want to
ruin the surprise by making her come to the door to let him in. So you
know, he climbed into the building through a complete stranger's window.
We liberal arts majors are not known for our logic. Now normally, I
would have been mortified by this. After all, I was wearing some pretty
unattractive sweat pants and I probably had dried ketchup and residual
bang hair all over my face. But it turned out alright because said
dude thanked me by giving me a few of his girlfriend's roses (hey, I'll
take sloppy seconds) and also he forgot the box of Russell Stover
chocolates he meant to bring her. So I ate them all. Even though I MUCH
PREFER Vosges or Max Brennan or even Godiva. Russell Stover is like the Walmart of chocolates.
So in the end, I had a great Valentine's Day- I watched one of my
favorite movies and some guy brought me roses and chocolates (hey, I'll
phrase it how I want to phrase it, Bitch).
And you know who didn't have a good Valentine's Day? All my friends because it turns out they spent the day dealing with Bridesmaids-style food poisoning and forgot to call me.
I am pretty much the last person anyone should ask for beauty advice and
yet suddenly everyone around me (and by that I mean all three of my
friends) wants to know my favorite products. Let me preface this list by
pointing out that I rarely remember to wash my face before bedtime and I
pluck my eyebrows basically never. I only ever shop for beauty products at the drug store, with the exception of little samples of $100 face masks that I like to swindle from Sephora on a monthly basis. Also I am terrified of pedicures. So
I am essentially the anti-beauty guru. But nevertheless, here are some
of my favorite, can't-live-without, MUST HAVE, freak-out-when-empty
One thing I totally suck at is keeping a make-up bag in my purse. I am not one of those girls who actually powders her face in the loo or remembers to carry concealer at all times. In fact, I dislike those people intensely. It seems high-maintenance and fussy. However I do have lip gloss on me all the time, even at the gym and that is because I truly believe that a little lip color can completely change your face and make you look refreshed and ready to face down even your biggest foes. I swear by Burt's Bees lip shimmers, especially Fig. It is like the Black Honey of drugstore brands. It looks good on literally everyone, lasts forever and tastes good too. (But don't eat it. Gross.)
I never used to bother with moisturizer, even though my mother told me it was really important to use it every day to avoid getting my grandmother's weird crinkled neck skin. About 5 years ago I jumped on this bandwagon in a really hardcore way. Now I moisturize every morning and, when I remember, at night too (see above comment re: my bad nighttime habits). I like Olay's complete moisture lotion because it's not very thick and absorbs pretty much right away and doesn't irritate my sensitive skin. Plus, it has SPF 15 and a bunch of nutrients so I can pretend my skin is absorbing the nutrients I should be getting from food but don't get at all because all I ever eat is junk.
Yes, it is Suave. I am apparently still stuck in the mid-90's when it comes to my body products. I might as well break out the cucumber melon Bath & Body Works bath gel. But hear me out. I first started using a milk & honey body wash while I was studying abroad in London. Over there, they have fancier, British versions of Suave, which was sold at uber-cool Boots Pharmacy (this was before it showed up in Target and became uncool). Anyway, I randomly bought a milk & honey body wash there one day and was instantly addicted. It was creamy and decadent and made me feel and smell like a Duchess every time I took a shower or bath. Usually it was a shower because I shared a bathroom with a boy so, ew. Now I am completely addicted to this scent and so happy I can buy it here for like $3. The Suave version leaves my skin super soft and the scent lasts but isn't overwhelming.
This stuff is so amazing. I'm sure most women my age spend actual money on their face cleansers at fancy stores like Sephora but I swear by this cleansing cream. I use it in the shower, where I can slather it on like the thick cold cream we used in my theater days and then I leave it on while I shampoo my hair. My skin gets all tingly and cold in a good way and then feels so clean and clear afterward. I'm beginning to sound like commercial now so I'll shut up about that. I forgot about Noxema for a long, long time and then I rediscovered it when I visited my AWESOME FRIEND SADIE in LA and she had it in her shower. I've been obsessed ever since. I abandoned it for a while in favor of some gross grapefruit exfoliating bullshit but now I am back and it is better than ever.
Back to make-up. Everyone raves about Dior mascara and I am all 'whatever dudes, Cover Girl Lash Blast FTW'. I use the newish Lash Blast Fusion because it builds volume AND length. Imagine that?!!? And it must work because lately people keep asking me if I am wearing false eyelashes as if I could roll out of bed early enough to apply those complicated mothers. I barely remember to brush my hair these days and I just noticed that my socks don't match. But I do swipe on this thick black goodness and it remains there all day, even if I watch a weepy movie like All Dogs Go To Heaven which we know is the weepiest movie ever and even worse than Sophie's Choice.
Here is something semi-fancy that can't be found at Rite Aid: Lorac eye shadows. Two years ago I was having an awesome mall day with Helen when I decided to deviate from my drugstore only beauty routine and splurge on an eyeshadow palette. Reader, I married it. Actually, I only committed to it for life. [Insert politically relevant joke here] But ladies, these eye shadows are the best. My eyelids tend to be a little oily (gross, I know) and so most eye shadows have melted and faded away by lunchtime. But Lorac eye shadows last all freaking day and they always look fresh because there is the tiniest bit of sheen but without a speck of slutty girl glitter. Even if I were that fussy girl in the bathroom retouching her make up every 4 hours, I wouldn't even need to because they are always fully in tact. My palette is running out and so I might buy the one you see above this long winded paragraph because the neutral tones are so pretty and glamorous.
A few words on hair products: I never use them. I hate that they make my hair feel dirty and weighed down and greasy. I don't like to wash my hair every single day, god damn it! I hate all those shine boosters and serums and hair sprays and mousses. They are gross and they smell weird and as previously discussed, I only like to smell like a Dutchess who bathed in milk. Anyway, for the past few years I have been having a very passionate affair with Conair's self-grip rollers. I like to throw 2-3 of them on the top of my head for extra volume. Then I like to prance about my room wearing only my black tights and a short kimono like I am Ann Margaret. They do wonders for very little effort and I highly recommend them to anyone who wants to look like a bombshell but who is lazy like I am.
I hate good taste. It’s the worst thing that can happen to a creative person. – Helmut Newton
Things I like: flowers, stripes, sequins, glitter, bunnies, those weird pom-poms on all my grandmother's curtains, expensive candles, inexpensive candies, shelter magazines, TV, wallpaper, costumes, old-school socialites, proper etiquette, grapefruit, stationery, champagne, art museums, subway tile, lots of pillows and anything metallic.
Also I like interior design. A LOT. Since I tend to bore most of my friends with my opinions on everything from wallpaper to wall art, I'm posting them all here! Questions? Comments? Presents?