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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

We Go Together like T-Birds and Pink Ladies

A few years back I broke up with a kind hearted gentleman whom by any straight female terms was the perfect man only to later fall into the arms of a different man who was only occasionally kind hearted and made Beetlejuice look like the Prince of England. Now, you may be thinking what would possess a woman in this day and age to break up with a perfectly normal, respectable man who never cheated on her or looked at other women (or men for that matter..gotta cover my bases..) when they are as rare as a golden ticket you might find in a Willy Wonka chocolate bar. Well, I happen to be a classic example of a twenty five year old commitment phob. I, however, up until recently had never had such a fantastical realization.  I believed, as many idealistic young women do, that I would find the perfect man, my own prince charming, and be instantly falling over myself in love and contentment. We would live happily ever after in our two-story house, picket fenced yard with our two point five children.
 However, as we all know life does not always follow suit.
Although it's one of my favorite childhood movies (and perhaps that's the real problem) I can’t help but blame Grease for my coming of age dilemmas. You may be wondering why Grease and not some fairy tale romance to the likings of Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty would cause me to wind up with such an oxymoronic predicament as being a commitment phobic hopeless romantic. Grease, with its cast of high school somebodies and its sexually driven catchy pop culture spew of songs, made me believe as a wide eyed twelve year old that I should have found my soul mate by the time I was a senior in high school. A tall order if you ask one gawky tomboy sixth grader as I happened to be at the time of consuming this pop culture phenomena. After the 15th replay of  Danny and Sandy's rendition of "Summer Nights" and "You're the One that I Want" I was officially a lifetime member of Gen Y-ers that subscribed to the belief of  “soul” mates.
For whatever reason, and I trust God’s plan in this, at 25 years old I still have yet to find the man who will kick my commitment phobic butt into long term planning mode, my very own Danny Zuko. Despite the lack of a diamond on my ring finger I find myself in a place of comfort and contentment. I am comforted because I realized that if shopping for china or picking out colors for a baby room is not in the stars, I am still surrounded by  the most genuinely thoughtful and caring friends a girl could ask for. These women have shown me enough love and undying support to make up for the picket fence and half a child I am currently void of.
        I may not have yet found my mate, but I am one lucky lady because I have found six very beautiful souls.
(Left to Right: Claudia, Leah, Megan, Samantha, Me (Lindsey), Courtney, Annie)

Monday, August 29, 2011

Ms. Shoelove: Or How I Learned to Stop Spending Excessively and Love the Revamp

Although my current life situation would read more accurately “Sexless and the City", I do have one major commonality with SATC’s sexpert and fashion icon Ms. Carrie Bradshaw: Our love for shoes. While she nonchalantly spends the equivalent of a semester at the local university on the newest Jimmy Choo’s or Manolo Blahnik’s, It’s hard for me not to cringe at spending more than $50 dollars for… well anything really. Despite this psychosomatic reaction to spending way over my means, my love for shoes refuses to wane and thus continues the love affair between myself, shoes, and my capital one card. Like any other expensive and emotionally one-sided relationship it needs to (momentarily) come to an end.

I know this break from spending excessive amounts on footwear is necessary.  As Sarah Jessica Parker's character once so eloquently put it, if I don't stop now I could very well end up being the woman who lives in her shoes. Any good friend will tell you post-break up the best way to get over your last love is to replace him/her with a new shinier, better-looking love. Thus, I introduce to you my new love; ways we have found to not max out your credit card and give new life to old shoes who are in desperate need for a night out on the town.

First, you're going to want to purchase some shoe clips from your local craft store as well as a hot glue gun if you don't already own one. Next, gather anything you think would look fun on a pair of shoes (big costume jewelry, buttons, sequins, old brooches, feathers, plastic flowers, etc) either from your own collection of unused jewelry and crafts or thrift stores and garage sales.

Next, grab a pair of shoes that you want to spruce up. You can either get an old favorite from your closet or we suggest browsing garage sales and thrift stores for some cheap footwear treasures. They usually have smokin' deals on shoes that would be a perfect canvas for some funky touch-ups. It's easy to get 4 or 5 pairs of shoes for under $20 dollars at Goodwill!

Once you have gathered your supplies, you are ready to start making some fun shoe clips. Be sure to try them out with different shoes, colors and styles! Below are some of the ones we did this afternoon.

Shoes: Thrift Store=$5
Sea Shell Clip-on Earrings: Thrift Store= $1

                                                            Shoes: Thrift Store= $4
                                                      Peacock Feather Accessory= $8

                                                                Shoes: Thrift Store= $5
                                      Gold Leaf + Bow= Handmade from craft supplies=$0

                                                                   Shoes: Thrift Store: $5
                             Sequins + Gold Beads= Handmade from Craft Supplies =$0

                                                                   Shoes: Thrift Store= $7
                                Peacock Accessory + green already owned earrings = $8
                         Gold Accessory= Already owned costume jewelry =$0

Shoes: Thrift store= $7
Lace+Feathers+Brooch= Already owned= $0

           Shoes: Already owned= $0
          Sequins: Already owned=$0

 Needless, to say the options and ability to be creative with this project are endless especially for theme parties and holidays! Samantha and I have definitely found our new favorite hobby.  

 “The fact is, sometimes it’s really hard to walk in a single woman’s shoes. That’s why we need really special ones now and then to make the walk a little more fun “  
- Carrie Bradshaw
"Sex and the City"

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

My Forgotten Wardrobe

              If you’re like me you only wear about fifty percent of the clothes that you own and recycle the same outfits to the point of boredom and a need of a shopping trip. The rest of your wardrobe you mentally catalog and convince yourself that if you ultimately gave or threw away those once loved, now 'tossed to the back of the closet' pieces of clothing they will inevitably become the perfect assemble for some unknown future event. I have a such a huge problem with parting from clothes that I have decided to challenge myself to wear every piece of clothing I own once before I either purchase a new article of clothing or do my laundry (while this may seem unhygienic , this is the only way that I will force myself to stick to the one wear only rule). 

              My only provision is that this challenge does not count for undergarments. As much as I dream of having my dresser drawers stocked like the backroom of a Victoria Secret alas I do not have enough underwear and bras to last me through every other piece of clothing that I own. This is a challenge I have bestowed upon myself to not only truly see what I need to finally divorce myself from but also to force myself to get more creative with my outfits, accessories and styling as well as save myself some money along the way. I will start posting pictures once I get past my favorite outfits and to the dark corners of my closet also known as the island of forgotten clothes.

Online Dating & the Men that Make it Worse

       I should have known when the guy I had been talking to online drove 1700 miles and planted his Cillian Murphy looking self on my doorstep without any sort of notice that online dating would never take me anywhere in life. In fact, it would only make my pinch of a love life seem absolutely more desperate. Like I couldn’t find someone even if I was searching through the depths of the internet, a place that the saddest of sad are given false hope through websites with names like “okcupid.” I’m embarrassed even typing that name; imagine how my love life feels.
I know, I know, you’re probably saying “Um yeah, except, like I totally know a couple that met on Match and they, like, TOTALLY belong together.” If you are saying that, you may or may not be right. You also may or may not need to go back to school. 
However, that is similar to saying that one shade of brown and one shade of grey looked great together ONCE; there are literally billions of people in existence, of course some of them are going to find love in the weirdest places possible. John and Yoko? Sometimes it just works.
Last year, I went through a period where I really thought online dating might be the answer to all of my unanswered questions; where are all the hot dorks hiding? How do I meet guys without having to approach them? What’s a good way to mask my insecurities? The internet, duh! The craziest part is that I didn’t give up after the first terribly shy, “much shorter than he said on his profile” date (there were plenty more of them); I was persistent in my defeat. The guys I went out with were not my type, but the part that still stings is that, typed out, they fit like a glove. 
A few months ago, I went on a date with a guy that had a profile that oh-so-perfectly veiled his lack of charm (he swore by his love for cheese...the man knew his way to my heart from the get go). This gentleman brought a six pack of beer to my house, drank four of them and made a full-hearted and unnerved effort to come back minutes after he had left to get the two stragglers out of the fridge. And who says chivalry is dead, ladies?
It’s sad that I can hardly remember the name of any of the guys I went on these dates with. I never thought that I’d be the type of girl that couldn’t remember a guy’s name that she talked to for weeks, but the truth is, dating guy after guy after guy was exhausting and made each date less special, less exciting, less hopeful. 
After a few more bad dates, I felt like my love life had been wounded, shocked, completely destroyed with the power of one crappy website and a handful of men that were either born to be car salesmen, or made SO little eye contact that I’m not actually sure they even had eyes.
Maybe I’m just old fashioned (I’m not) or just tired of feeling like I’m crazy for making bad jokes on dates with men that seemed like they’d appreciate them (they didn’t), but online dating isn’t for this girl. I think I’ll meet my Yoko in the real world; I’ll take my chances.

Favorites!: Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps (Tea Tree)

 I have incredibly sensitive skin that reacts differently to every product I put on it which is a wonderful genetic trait passed down from my families paternal side (I won’t name names..DAD) . As if the complexion gods weren’t smiling down on me quite cheesy and obnoxiously enough already I was also blessed with a combination of oily and dry skin. I was in my favorite aisle at the drugstore just browsing shampoos when I ran across the whole line of Dr. Bronner’s soaps. My eyes immediately gravitated towards the bar of soap that said “Tea Tree” and I was sold as quickly as I read the words. Tea tree usually did wonders for my skin. Moments later and five dollars lighter that wonderfully impulsive shopper’s intuition ended up paying off. This accurately named soap is gentle, refreshing and does not leave my skin dry or dull. Also, a huge advantage for me was that it has even helped with my complexion in the short time (2 weeks) I have been using it. I’m not saying my skin is quite perfect yet but thanks to Dr. Bronner's I'm sure soon enough I will be the one smiling cheesy and obnoxiously.

As if Dr. Bronner's products weren't fabulous enough already they are also multipurpose allowing you to use their liquid soaps for everything from detergent to toothpaste! Plus, for those of you who are like me and are looking for eco-friendly products, Dr. Bronner's is now "certified under the USDA National Organic Program as well as Fair Trade under IMO's 'Fair for Life ' program" according to their website. 

Check out more from Dr.Bronner's line of products on their website: here. 
(photo credit: Dr. Bronner's website)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Welcome to Purple Party Shoes!

This blog will include contributions by Samantha and Lindsey, two young women who love fashion, celebrating life, and all facets of creativity and art. Join us as we share our ideas and love for affordable outfits, parties, food, art, love and adventures.