Porcelain toile

So I’ve written about this dress here, but a very long time ago. I had it imprinted into my memory, after seeing someone else wear it online back in the early years of fashion/style blogging (I hunted down the image from 2007 here, on the Cherry Blossom Girl’s blog). Once I had seen it, I KNEW, I just knew it had to be mine. Once I found it, I loved it, wore it, and then never wore it again? I resurrected it on January 1st after many years of being in the back of the closet, as a motivation to give things another try (you may have seen the Instagram photo here). Too bad it’s a little too cold to show the whole beauty of this dress – bless those nude pantyhose keeping me warm.

Item From Made in… BUY
H&m toile dress ebay.com probably China -
J. Crew linen jacket Crossroads Phillippines HERE, HERE, or HERE
vintage fur collar Held Over vintage SF - many on ebay!
J. Crew belt Buffalo Exchange - -
 Socks sockdreams.com USA HERE
 Rachel Comey shoes Wasteland will update soon -
 Revlon colorburst Target.com - HERE

Thrift Eye, toile dress, style blogger, wearing dress in winter

Thrift Eye, toile dress, style blogger, wearing dress in winter

Thrift Eye, toile dress, style blogger, wearing dress in winter

Thrift Eye, toile dress, style blogger, wearing dress in winter

I’m starting to fall in love with toile again!

Fit: for better or worse

I don’t make resolutions for the new year, it’s been a while since I’ve stuck to the ‘make your goals year round’ type of thing. I’m about to hit the two year mark since I cut starchy breads out of my diet and it took my body for a huge spin. It’s a daily battle, but the enemy is bread (gosh, it sounds so pathetic typing that out). I’m not gluten free, and don’t claim to be.

Changing my diet changed my body, but doing light exercise also helped tremendously. I’m not a long distance runner (barely a short distance runner). But I have tried to walk every single day, throughout the day – most days I walk between 3-5 miles by the end of the night. At my peak, I was jogging too. Something I never saw myself doing. I seriously slacked off the last few months because *life* and I want to get back on track again to light jogging to strengthen my body.

I have 3 things that have helped me tremendously to even get to these goals

1. Pacing myself – I have a goal point in my neighborhood, and I know that when I get there and back home, I have completed two miles. What I do then, is jog one block, then walk one block. When I’m feeling really energetic, I’ll zig-zag up and down the blocks in this path alternating the walking and jogging (the blocks are also up and down hill). This gets my heart rate up, and gives me adequate rest so I don’t hurt myself.

2. Kinesiology Tape saved my life (well, legs) from excruciatingly painful shin-splints. They work on other body parts too – but this stuff is serious magic. When I’m wearing the tape, I can sometimes jog for longer distances (than the one block described above, to about 3 or 5 blocks) or even a longer total distance for the day.

3. Wearing a Fitbit. For a long time, I didn’t even use the FitBit app. I use it to see my total distance and steps in the day like a pedometer. I use the app now to track weekly and monthly progress (I like charts and graphs). I have a few friends, but don’t see what they do, I don’t like to compare or compete. This is real life, there are no winners or losers.

I get almost all of my workout clothing second-hand. You wouldn’t believe the brand new stuff I find out there all the time. I think it’s because some people buy fancy workout clothes and sometimes give up (it’s sadly so easy to), or because of poorly thought out gifts that go straight to donations. It would be wonderful to find some made in USA workout brands! (pass them along if you know of any). Wouldn’t it be nice if American Apparel made dedicated workout clothes? I also wear a very light backpack so I can carry water, phone, keys, and usually a book (I sometimes read when I get to my destination, before I go back home).

Item From Made in… BUY
Fitbit Amazon.com - HERE
Nike Sports top thrifted Sri Lanka -
Nike leggings thrifted Cambodia -
Nike Free Waffle gift from mom Vietnam -
Adidas hoodie thrifted Indonesia -
Alite squirrel pack gift China -

Thrift Eye, fitbit review, getting healthy, how i lost weight

BEFORE – don’t let this cute photo fool you, exercising is not this glamorous
Thrift Eye, fitbit review, getting healthy, how i lost weight

When this is what I’ll look like if you see me on the streets
Thrift Eye, fitbit review, getting healthy, how i lost weight

I get people asking me all the time what my secret is. I’ll gladly tell people I don’t eat bread, but I’ll be frank and tell them that might not work for you. The secret is to listen to your body and be kind to yourself. Don’t hide your problems with a fork and spoon. I went to the gym for two solid  years when I lived in Las Vegas and never lost a pound. Life is just like that sometimes. My path is not to be skinny or anything like that, the goal is to be on a road of life-long healthy patterns that I should have learned at a younger age. This post isn’t sponsored, I just wanted to motivate myself to get moving again, and if possible, motivate someone out there waiting for that nudge!

The Teen Vogue Handbook

I grew up with Vogue magazine around me, in a home and family where the women would buy issues to sew their own copycat outfits inspired from its pages. In my late teens, when Teen Vogue came out, I was on board right away and I continued to purchase it for years and years (until I began working at the library and had issues at an arms length at all times).

I was given a copy of the NEW Teen Vogue Handbook to preview and share with you guys. The original book was published in 2009, so this new issue now has updated advice that corresponds to our current landscapes with new feature profiles. You know I love books, and fashion books are my ultimate pairing (see my past post about my must have fashion books!) This handbook features great magazine editor, fashion designer, fashion guru, model, blogger, photograher profiles plus many more! Along with tips on how to break through in the industry.

Who would want to read this book? Fashion and fashion book lovers, students interested working in the fashion field, entrepreneurs who like to read profiles on successful people, aspiring photographers, fashion loving teens, or those curious about how these jobs work, just to name a few.

Teen Vogue Handbook

Teen Vogue Handbook

Teen Vogue Handbook

Teen Vogue Handbook

Teen Vogue Handbook

Teen Vogue Handbook

Teen Vogue Handbook

Teen Vogue Handbook

Teen Vogue Handbook

Where can you buy it? Right now, look for it on Amazon.com and your local bookstores.

Sewn by my own hands

Over a year ago, when I began to explore to world of responsible fashion after the Bangladeshi clothing factory tragedy – it pushed me to approach this whole thing (both blog and real world-wise) in a more ethical and human way that celebrates the people dressing you, not punishes them. I did this in several ways (we each find our own path, mine is no better than anyone else’s). This was done by thrifting (and thrifting Made in USA when possible), buying vintage, shopping Made in USA for new items, wearing things my mom made for me, getting rid of everything in my wardrobe that was Forever 21 (almost there with all H&M things too), and the last goal was to begin making clothes for myself.

I found a step-by-step instruction book at work that allowed me to see, read, and cut patterns (I shared that post here and you can get the book here.) I visited a fabric store on the way home one day and finally decided what fabric to get. I chose something relatively inexpensive and forgiving for a first timer since I would probably make mistakes – in this case, a cotton slub knit fabric. It has a nice stretch to it, and the slub means that instead of being smooth, it has tiny knots throughout that gives it a textured feel. I knew I wanted to make the baseball raglan first! So I cut my patterns and set off.

This is my first thing ever cut from a pattern and sewn by my own hands. It’s nowhere near perfect (I accidentally cut short, it’s too cropped for my day-to-day style, but looks fine when tucked in) but I made it! I’m using it as a prototype of what not to do the next time. Because next, I want to make myself a short sleeve raglan dress. This is a great start – not only in making things myself, but also rethinking what I want my wardrobe to be and also what kind of shopper (or better yet, nonshopper) I am.

tl;dr I made a shirt!

Top: me, using Built by Wendy Pattern. Skirt: Elizabeth & James, thrifted. Tights: DKNY. Boots: Dolce Vita (mine are from a few seasons ago, these are the new ones). Lipstick: NARS.

Thrift Eye, using built by wendy pattern, sewing raglan, black and white outfit, fashion blogger, style blogger

Thrift Eye, using built by wendy pattern, sewing raglan, black and white outfit, fashion blogger, style blogger

Thrift Eye, using built by wendy pattern, sewing raglan, black and white outfit, fashion blogger, style blogger

Thrift Eye, using built by wendy pattern, sewing raglan, black and white outfit, fashion blogger, style blogger

Thrift Eye, using built by wendy pattern, sewing raglan, black and white outfit, fashion blogger, style blogger

It’s only the beginning!

My sanctuary

Hope you had a nice weekend, I’m already gearing up for the next one! I took a nice long break because I got caught up between two separate out-of-towner guests and being generally exhausted from work like everyone else! I have had blogging on my mind quite a bit though – generally the state of it and my footprint in it. When I started my blog in 2006, I had no clue that I’d still be doing this and taking it in this direction. But I’m very happy about where this has all ended up and where it heading. Something I cannot say for others I see blogging out there, you can tell when people don’t like it anymore. The bigger you grow, the more pressure it all becomes. From both outside influences but also yourself. I feel pretty confident in doing my own damn thing now :)

One thing I am now forcing myself to do more is to pick up the real camera again, and start shooting non-blog photos. I’m finding pleasure in capturing shadows again. I kick myself for having fallen so reliant on my iPhone for photos, when I have this amazing camera to use. So when I saw the light hitting my living room so perfectly, I knew I had to take these photos. In the almost four years I have lived in this apartment, I have rearranged the furniture more times than I can now remember!

My living room is my happy place, as I’ve collected things that serve a purpose and have meaning. The couch used to belong to our good friends, who no longer had room for it. We gladly took this lovely thing into our home. I made the alphabet myself! It hangs as a memory that I can do anything I put my mind to it. The tree sat at my former job, dying from neglect until I saved it – I rescued it back to health and brought it home with me when I quit because I knew they wouldn’t take care of it! We recently had a friend move away to Africa, and while very sad about it, we bought this furry blanket from her at the yardsale she hosted to sell most of her life she wouldn’t be able to bring with her! It’s bittersweet. Oh, and my dream coffee table – I went three years without a coffee table while we lived in San Francisco because I saved up to buy this one!

Living Room Style, blue Chesterfield couch, cb2 peekaboo acrylic table, fiddle leaf fig ficus, alicia paulson daisychain abc, apartment style, san francisco apartment

Living Room Style, blue Chesterfield couch, cb2 peekaboo acrylic table, fiddle leaf fig ficus, alicia paulson daisychain abc, apartment style, san francisco apartment

Oh yeah, and my library books in the corner!

My home, my work in progress, my sanctuary. My blog is my home.