small changes can lead to big differences.

Saturday, October 30, 2010


So I literally just sat down, opened my computer and I was like "there's nothing to do online" so I went to - something I SWEAR i rarely do!! The first post was about the jersey shore dressing up as each other, and I clicked on Snooki's twitter, which led me to her website. I then thought "Wow, am I really reading about Snooki's life? Do I really care that she was on the show 'is she really going out with him' before Jersey Shore?" so I set my computer down and went outside. I come back a little while later, close the computer & turn on the tv. I routinely click over to MTV in case an episode of NEXT is on (best MTV show ever) but it said "up next: is she really going out with him?" so I was like "oh weird I was just reading about that" and then low and behold......IT'S THE ONE WITH SNOOKIE! Soooo weird!!! haha. Must be that Halloween spookiness going on.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

special day

today, education wise, was stressful. So much to do, so little time to do it, and so little desire! However, my first teacher let us out an hour early and when I checked my phone, I had a message from a friend I haven't heard from in months!

I met her on the Amtrak back in April as we were both going to California from Chicago. It was a 2 day trip, so needless to say we had plenty of time to get to know each other. It was strange how we didn't have much in common, but at the same time we totally did. We spoke to each other on the same level of matureness, both understood completely where each other was coming from, and had meaningful conversations the entire 2 days we were together. When we parted, I was really sad, but at the same time I just knew in my heart it wasn't the end! We exchanged phone numbers & went on our way.

I texted her a few times over the past few months - I knew she was going through some transition periods & I just had a feeling that I shouldn't be concerned over the lack of communication. I sent her a postcard, but never heard anything.. until today!

She was on her way from Texas to North Carolina & had a layover in Chicago for a few hours. I just so happened to get out of class early & was already on my way out of school when I got her message, so it was easy for me to just hop on the blue line & go over to the Clinton stop. It was so unexpected but so awesome! It was nice to feel that female connection that I don't think I've ever felt. And it was such a nice feeling to feel, well, missed! Everyone I am friends with lives within an hour from me, so it was a rare feeling for me to see someone genuinely miss me. She is moving to NC, which is awesome because it's closer than California, & she's trying to stay in one place for awhile. We only had an hour to catch up & I was already nervous because I couldn't afford to be late to class, but it was a very enjoyable time and I am so happy and also kind of shocked that it happened! She showed me that she kept my postcard with her during her entire 2.5 month cycling trip down the West Coast. It was so special to her that she kept it with her - such an amazing feeling! I ended up not caring about being 15 minutes late for class. I value friendships and people and human interaction a lot more than I value a grade. After all, that's what life is about to me.

Lesson you should learn: take the amtrak! It's amazing. (and a lot safer/eco friendly!)



Sunday, October 24, 2010


Although it's almost time to dress for Winter, plaid is always in season. I just listed a ton of plaid in the shop, including a handmade mini skirt made by my mom back in the 80s :)

winter plaid mini skirt - xs

vintage Diane Von Furstenburg Shirt - medium

one of my favorites - 80s September Plaid shirt

Primary Color plaid dress in large

olive green & moss plaid suitcase 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

S S S Saigon

I think I will start telling random stories of the places i've been in hopes to motivate you to go to places (or not go) and to keep things interesting. 

I have decided to start with Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), Vietnam. 

I traveled here in July, 2007, when I was 20. I liked it! It was a very busy city, but I remember some fun times. 

By busy, this is what I mean: 

(my camera wasn't the greatest but if you click on the album link you can see more) 

It was an art learning how to cross the street without getting hurt. by this point, I had been in asia for over a month so I thought I had a handle on dealing with motorbikes, but Saigon is an entirely different story! 

What I loved about Saigon (I think people call it HCMC these days, but I like Saigon because it's quicker to type) is that for such a dirty, kind of pessimistic city (people here weren't nearly as friendly as the ones i met in other countries) it had the most colorful buildings. 

I know this isn't a good example, but just wait for my Nha Trang post. EVERY building was a bright, pastel color.  

Saigon is also the home to a lot of Vietnam war museums. Nothing is more depressing, for an American, to see the shit we did to these people because we didn't think communism was right. WTF!? 
I don't agree with war, I don't agree with killing, but I really REALLY don't agree with what we did to the Vietnamese. & they're still red. we made no difference except having a bunch of people killed. Lame. 
Sorry. Rant. 



Real stuff. 

The other thing I vividly remember about Saigon is that it's the first place I saw in SE Asia that had Diet Pepsi. Yep. 

Anddd.. hopefully this has changed.. but they had a tendency to bag EVERYTHING: 
From Saigon/HCMC Vietnam
Even the soda.

Another cool place I went was on a tour of the Cu Chi Tunnels. We saw many ways of hiding and how many Americans were killed. 



Even though things happened before our time, such as the Vietnam war and the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, you have no idea how much these things still affect those who live in the countries they happened in. While we moved on, there are still land mines reacting and killing or dismembering innocent people who step on them. The Khmer Rouge wiped out a quarter of Cambodia's population, and the first I ever heard of it was when I actually WENT to the country. (this is for another day but it's something I've become quite passionate about!) 

It just shows how much you can learn by embracing another country. Maybe they don't speak English, but you can learn so much about yourself & other people when you put yourself in their shoes. I know it's easier to ignore for most people, but for some - like myself - it's impossible! I plan on going back sometime soon. 

aaaaand for good measure: 


thx for reading! I'll post another city soon. 

What.. the..???

My parents have lived at this address for about 18 years and we have rarely seen the stray or feral cat wandering around. However, just a few weeks ago we had a BURST of ferals come on our block and now we have a problem.

Feral cats are NOT fun. Have you ever heard cats mate? It's probably the worst sound ever, with bone-chilling screams that last for what feel like hours. I remember trying to sleep in Costa Rica even WITH headphones on, and the screams of the cats were just terrible. Not only are the sounds the worst, but we don't need any more cats to go into shelters! So I'm attempting to tackle this problem right now. Oh, and did I mention the large amount of cat feces in my front yard that my dogs are trying to eat? Yea. Not fun.

I found a friend who has several cat traps to lend me (since I lent mine out & never saw it again) and a great organization called Triple R Pets who is helping me with this situation. They are willing to transport these cats up to PAWS Chicago to get them fixed if I trap them and pay for some of the funding. I am ALL for this idea because it means I don't have to get up at 5 am, drive all the way up to Paws with 5 stinky cats in someone's car, and I don't have to wait around to pick the cats up at 5pm. It is amazing that they are willing to do this for me - that shows how passionate they are!

So I am hoping to be able to squeeze out some funds from my parents since they have to put up with this problem as well. I can try to cover some funding as well, but I kind of had a reality check when I looked at how much debt I have and how little funds I have in my bank account.

So, any and all purchases from now to Sunday night in my Etsy shops will go towards the spay/neuter of these cats. I have the potential of trapping 5 cats, which amounts to $155 to fix these cats. I don't want the rescue group to have to empty their funds since this is what they do every day & have several cats to fix, so please consider purchasing an item this weekend to help!

Vintage & Handmade

Fabric & Supplies

I will put all profit towards the cats this weekend, & any left over will go towards the group to help their other feral cats.

If you don't want to purchase an item & would rather donate, click here. In a world of shady non-profits where you have no clue where your money is going, I can honestly say that this group is 100% legit. I know a lot of their volunteers & have worked with them before, and they love cats, they love to volunteer, and they are great people. These small groups are the ones making the biggest difference, the ones tackling the tough problems, and the ones that are willing to help people & communities. So, please consider donating to them or purchasing an item from my shop to help. Thanks for reading!!!

PS: TNR Trapping is 100% Humane. We use safe traps that lure the cat in w/ food, and as soon as the cat steps on a lever, the doors close. There is nothing in the trap that would hurt the cat. We then take them to PAWS Chicago to get them fixed, vetted (rabies, microchip) and then after they're healed, we release them back into where they originated to live their life. The reason we don't adopt these cats out is because they have been born into the wild and aged with no human contact. It would take years for a feral to become accustomed to just one person, & since there are already hundreds of cats needing homes in the Chicago area alone, it is the best option for everyone to let these guys go.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

doing it RIGHT. Or trying to.


Like millions of other people in this world (even just in this country alone), I am guilty of the fast food/no exercise diet. I rarely drank water, instead I drank soda.. while I am an avid lover of vegetables & fruit, I still never ate as much as I should have & chose to eat candy for breakfast (or something just as sugary, like pop tarts or lucky charms). I really never thought anything of this because I have stayed the same weight since I passed puberty. The only thing I saw suffer were my poor teeth, who endured an embarrassing amount of cavities and anger from my dentist. After I realized the severity of my soda drinking habits, I have definitely cut back. I hardly drank any at all while I lived on my own, but since the rest of my family hasn't followed in my footsteps, I am slowly becoming more and more dependent on the diet coke taste that once took over my life because it is readily available at any given time. HOWEVER.. while I can say I've opened a can a day, I almost never finish them. It's progress, at least!

Anyway, a few years ago, on a whim I decided to just stop eating fast food. It really wasn't very hard to do because I had gotten to a point where I felt sickly after eating a hamburger and fries. I was starting to become conscious of how much money I was spending and the fact that I wasn't very fit & active, and I saw a slight increase in my weight so I freaked out. Another reason was because I still was living at home (never had moved out yet) and I was bypassing all of the home cooked meals for convenience.. something I would probably never do again after living on my own! What I mean by convenience is that I would most likely be on my way to school or work & I wouldn't have time to sit down and eat. Instead, I would stop and get a burger and eat that while driving. Kinda lame, eh? 

I noticed a huge difference after a few weeks of not eating fast food. I fell back into it sometimes, especially when I worked at O'hare in 2009 because McDonalds really was the cheapest place to eat! But I can proudly say that this past summer, I didn't eat any fast food (except for fries, which I allow very rarely as there is no meat in them) while working. No burgers, chicken nuggets, ice cream, nothin. I am so proud of myself! Even though in order to curve my appetite I'd order a coffee.. still, I think it's slightly better than eating chemical-based processed nasty burgers from who knows where! 

This guy loves water. 

So that brings me to my point. Even if you aren't overweight & you're at your perfect percentage of body fat like I am (sorry, I might be bragging a little but I'm proud!) you really DO need to eat better and take care of yourself. If you're still eating fast food & drinking soda & eating reese's for breakfast, try to cut back & start drinking more water and eating an apple instead. Next time you go somewhere with an escalator AND stairs, take the stairs. I know these tasks sound really lame and boring, but the healthy feeling you will get is unbeatable. There is no other feeling like it - when you feel cleansed, worked out, & hydrated, it's like bliss. 

To help you get started, here is a short list of things I try to do every day to improve my health: 
  • Take the stairs! I rarely take an escalator or elevator (unless, of course, I'm going up to the 9th floor or something!) even going down. It is one small thing you can do in your day that'll improve your health, strength, & burn some calories. Plus, it's quicker! Nothing confuses me more than seeing people stand on escalators, except at the airport where everyone has luggage! It makes sense there!
  • Right before bed, drink some water. It's a lot easier to do than when you wake up for some reason! Realistically, you should drink 1/2 of your body weight in water every day! (so if you weigh 130lbs, you should drink about 64 ounces of water which pretty much amounts to 8 cups) 
  • Try to drink one extra cup of water a day if you have a hard time drinking water. I am constantly trying to make my mom do this - she rarely drinks water and she really needs to! Especially with the amount of coffee she drinks - it's scary!
  • Plan your meals as much as you can. I really need to do this one, because when I get hungry, I really don't feel like thinking or making something - I just want to EAT! So I end up eating something bad, like 5 granola bars or 6 packs of fruitsnacks. Instead, I am going to try and plan out my meals because next time I am starving, I don't even have to think - I'll just go to whatever I have planned to make. I work really well like that, though, and some other people might not. 
If you have any tips, please share them! I love.. ok, maybe I'm obsessed!.. health and finding new ways to stay healthy, especially while I live in a house filled with unhealthy stuff! 

And I can promise you this: Once you cut the fast food out completely, once you start eating better & drinking more water, you will NEVER go back. The food you once ate will taste like CRAP and you will find yourself craving WATER. I can promise you that! 

Good luck!! LEt me know if you take any of this to heart because I'd love to hear stories!!!! 


Sunday, October 3, 2010

Mega Shop Update!

Last week, Juli & I had an epic photo shoot! We had 3 models between us and I think I had a total of about 60 items photographed. The best part? We didn't even photograph everything I had - I have SO much more! However, I didn't rush to get pictures of summer items since it's fall & winter is on the way.

Head over to the shop to see what's new before it disappears! I have a feeling that a lot of these items aren't going to last :)

Also, did you know that return buyers will always receive 10% off? If you've bought something from me before, all you have to do is type in "10% off discount!" or something of that nature into the "message to seller" box. & that's not just a one-time offer, it's good on all future purchases!

Here are some of my favorites that I've listed so far! I hope to have everything listed by the end of this week, so keep checking back!

Grandpa cardigan with color blocks-  amazing!

This was one of my favorites, and it sold 10 minutes after I listed it!

Lace & Jersey 80s dress - perfection!

peach cocktail dress with lace bodice. Simply stunning!

Ruffle purse that goes with almost ANY cocktail dress!!

cozy llama wool sweater!

enjoy! I have several plus-size dresses coming up, but they are more summery so I'm posting the winter stuff first :)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

A lighter post.. .

Oh wow. after posting the hoarding, I feel like i need to write about something happy & light-hearted!

I bike about 8 miles every few days  through the forest preserve. It's so gorgeous, full of nature & wildlife, I love it!! It is such a good opportunity to clear my head & get exercise, & I totally recommend it.

Here are some lovely photos for you to enjoy. Who knew suburbs of Chicago had such pretty forest preserves? For now at least! hint: click pics for larger scale photos!

i guess this is why we're called the Prairie State?

That's my bike!!! An 80's Raleigh with the best colors ever - pink & grey!

This wall of trees is amazing. it's my favorite place in the world right now. It reminds me of a fairy tale, and I want to just go sit in the forest for days.

Clutter or Hoarding?

By now, it seems like the entire country is obsessed with A&E's show "Hoarders". I know I LOVE IT!! It makes me feel so much better about my always-cluttered room because I know I could never, ever get to be that bad. The show makes you feel sorry for the people, but also angry.. especially when you see people hoarding cats. There are almost always dead cats in each house - we watched one last night featuring Vula from Kokomo, Indiana, who not only had 13 dead cats in her house, but everything (and I mean everything) was covered in feces.. yet she was in denial claiming the things weren't contaminated & she was blaming other people for the dead cats. It made me furious. I know that something up there in the mindset is probably not right, but in my eyes, that doesn't make it okay - especially when cats are dying. Even if you hate cats, (which I don't, but my boyfriend isn't fond of them & even he was upset) no living creature deserves that life.

Anyway, I thought I'd share some of my experience with hoarding. A few years ago, I found out that the Humane Investigator I knew was working a hoarding case right near my own home, so I went and helped out. It turned out to be 5 minutes away and the lady had like 70 cats. They had to remove her from the house while we went in and tried to trap the animals, which also included an elderly dog that couldn't even move. We were able to adopt out some of the less-feral animals, but due to lack of funding, an un-cooperative shelter that the Humane Investigator was sponsored by, & the fact that not only were these cats completely feral, inbred and infected (one cat I trapped had an open wound the size of my fist on his neck), most of them had to be humanely euthanized.

I have such a strong passion for helping animals. I hope that when I become financially stable (because it WILL happen one day! I know it!) I definitely have plans to open up my own no-kill rescue, specializing in hoarding animals, hard to adopt animals, animals in high kill shelters.. okay, specializing in ALL animals from any situation! haha. I have years of experience doing it, working not only with shelters, but also driving down to New Orleans after Katrina & helping trap cats & training dogs.

Ok, well, if you have the stomach for it, here are the photos of the house I worked in. It has since been demolished (it could have never, ever been fixed) & the last I heard of the woman was that she was in a nursing home.
If you know anyone who is hoarding animals, I encourage you to contact a humane investigator or shelter. If you don't know who to contact, just tell me! I can definitely find out for you.

You can just click on each thumbnail to get a bigger picture - I don't want to gross anyone out if they don't want to see these pics!


*very graphic, I am sorry!!!*