Tuesday, July 31, 2012

On the Church Steps

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One of my favorite things about blogging, if not my absolute all time number one favorite, is the real life friendships I've made while doing it. Last weekend (and yesterday), I met up with Ellie, who used to have a fashion blog. I got to meet her last summer while we were both super into blogging, when I visited California. This summer, though, she's been doing an internship here in the city, and luckily we got to hang out a couple of times before she leaves this weekend. On Saturday, we trekked over to Brooklyn for the Brooklyn Flea, which was wonderful. I've been to the winter indoor market, but never the outdoor summer one, so it was nice sharing that experience with a good friend. Then, Ellie super wanted to traverse the Brooklyn Bridge, which I've never done because I am bad at being a New Yorker, so we did that as well. We did a little bit of shopping as well, obviously - which included Ellie finding two super cute skirts a block away from the Flea on someone's front-stoop sale. You're not a true New Yorker until you try on someone else's clothes right on the sidewalk, am I right? Of course, my camera died right after we reached the Flea Saturday, so you'll have to take my word for it. We met up again for dinner (SHAKE SHACK) and late night church step chats last night, and I had a great time talking with her about blogging, boys, and our love of the Shins. And taking blog photos, of course.

Every now and then, I stop and think about how big a part this blog has played in my life and relationships. I visited New Hampshire a few weeks ago to visit one of my best blog friends, Michal of North Country Girl - something I never would have done (and probably someone I never would have known, which is terrifying) if I didn't start this blog. This weekend, Elanor of Missing Lovebirds is coming to visit me so I can show her around New York. I've skyped and emailed and texted and met with so many blog friends who I consider real, true, friends, and some of the best people I know. It's pretty amazing, you know?

Blouse: Handmade, Jeans: J Brand via Buffalo Exchange ($22!), Necklace: Brooklyn Flea

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"Oh, that was cute when you were laughing! DO IT AGAIN SO I CAN PHOTOGRAPH IT."
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"Now hold the monocle up! Fashion blogging!"

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"Now let's SHARE the monocle!"

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Taking jumping shots on self timer...

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...is not easy.

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"Now look off into the distance, dramatically."

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Until tomorrow,

Monday, July 30, 2012

Bridgetown Vintage Giveaway

Hi there folks! Today I've got something extra special in store for you guys. Most of you probably know Sarah, from Just Take a Bow. And if you do know her (which you really should, she's wonderful), you probably also know that she recently launched an etsy shop called Bridgetown Vintage. As Sarah says, "Some of my favorite Portland shops sell vintage alongside eclectic local artisanship and surprising finds. Bridgetown Vintage aspires to be just that!" And it totally is. Not only is her vintage selection spot-on, but her handmade jewelry just blows me away. Seriously, it's beautiful. Lucky for you guys, Sarah is letting me give away an item to one of my readers! And it's really easy to enter, too. Simply visit Bridgetown Vintage, and leave a comment on this post telling me which item is your favorite! It'd be nice if you also were a follower of my blog, but I'm not going to be a stickler about it.

This Giveaway is open until Saturday, August 4th! Oh, and since Sarah's such a sweet gal, she's offering all of you guys free shipping with the code COCOMARIA.

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Mint/Aquamarine Safety Pin & Bead Bracelet //  Playful 1980s Vintage Horchow Fish Sweater // Vintage Clam Shell Clasp Purse

Thursday, July 26, 2012

All My Good Friends Call Me Wilderness

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I am not very good at standing up for myself. See, right there. I could have said that I am exceptional, perhaps the best, at not standing up for myself. But I took the self-deprecating route. If I had to give myself a label, it would probably "pushover." Well, I'll give myself a little credit and say "cute pushover." Whether it's with my friends, or with a boyfriend, I'm generally the one who rolls over and gives in, who gives more than she receives. That's a role I've played for as long as I can remember. A few weeks ago, a boy I've known for a very long time invited me over to his house and attempted to have sex with me. Well, he wanted to attempt to have sex with me. I didn't really let him get that far. But, I digress. He did not try to woo me. He did nothing even mildly romantic. He did not slow dance with me, or even compliment me once. And I almost let him have sex with me.

This didn't hit me until a few days ago. I was talking about it, and relationships in general, with a friend, who said, "Until you appreciate yourself, until you demand things and act like you're worth something, you're going to have a hard time finding people who do." Like a sack of bricks to the chest. I felt disoriented, and more upset, and more empowered, than I'd felt in a while, amazed that I had stood up for myself, beating myself up over the fact that I nearly hadn't.

This guy has known me for years and years. Subsequently, he knows that I am very good (positive!) at taking care of the needs of others instead of my own. He knew he would not have to compliment me. He knew he would not have to slow dance with me, or light candles, or make me smile, or whatever it is people do when they're trying to get into someone else's pants, because I am a people pleaser, because I simply don't require wooing. Well, he thought he didn't have to do those things.

It is nice to surprise people - even nicer to surprise yourself. I didn't know it at the time, I'm sure, but somewhere inside of me that night was this tiny flicker of worthiness, a squeaky door-hinge of a voice trying to exclaim YOU ARE WORTH THE SLOWDANCE AND THE CANDLES. MAKE HIM WORK FOR IT, JUST A LITTLE. This is something I am working on - growing that voice into a roar, so loud that it is simply a constant beat in the background of all of my interactions. I am worth the time and effort and sweet gestures that I put into my relationships with other people, and I am not unworthy of asking for the same in return. It's hard for me to act upon these thoughts, but I'm hoping that writing and thinking and caring will soon enough transition seamlessly into confident action.

Dress: Asos, Shirt: Levi's, Sandals: Maddengirl via Marshalls

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Until tomorrow,

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Poetry Festival

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Today, I headed over to the wonderful, wonderful Governors Island just off Manhattan to attend the New York Poetry Festival. Though I planned on going as just an attendee, when I realized they had a "vendors village" I decided I should try to sell some of my brooches from Faces and Faces at the event! I mean, if anyone wanted to buy a literary brooch it would be the folks who go to a poetry festival, am I right? It was a beautiful day spent chatting folks up, handing out business cards, and even selling a few (five! not too shabby) brooches. I had never been to Governors Island before, but now I want to go back as soon as possible. It's a magical little island that's just a huge public park. No one lives on it, and there are just beautiful fields everywhere. My sister and I honestly forgot we were a few minutes ferry ride away from Manhattan, that's how wonderful it was. I can't wait to go back with a picnic lunch and frisbee in hand. On our little lunch break, my sister and I walked around the island and even rented bikes! There really shouldn't be an exclamation point there, since it was sort of a disaster, since we're not very good at bike riding. I hope to improve someday, though. All in all, it was a lovely day. I even got to meet Walt Whitman.

Dress: Madewell, Hat: Salvation Army

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A Walt Whitman impersonator came over, saw my brooches, and bought a Walt Whitman brooch. He subsequently had me put the brooch on the Peter Doyle (Walt Whitman's supposed lover) impersonator. It was definitely a highlight, and I just had to take a photo of that pair.

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This picture is misleading, since I walked the bike back from this point on. I don't trust myself around pedestrians/trees/ air.

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Until tomorrow,

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Don't Think Twice, It's Alright

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When you're a kid, people are always talking about growth spurts - those sudden changes in height or the size of your feet or earlobes. The thing about growth spurts, though, is that you can never feel yourself growing. One day you're short, and the next, you're tall. You go to bed with baby feet and wake up needing to shop in a whole new section of Payless.

Lately, I have felt myself growing, and it has been so disorienting. Not growing in the physical sense, of course, but in how I handle myself, in what I do, in the sense that I'm becoming, possibly, a stronger version of myself. I have been stressed more this past week than I have been in a very long time. Nightly, I feel like I've got this medicine ball sitting in the center of my chest, with this anxious energy making my fingertips uneasy. I was just chalking it up to my inability to do enough at once, to control my feelings, to make the best decisions for myself. After a lot of (too much) reflection and a little bit of (too much) optimism, though, I think it's exactly the opposite.

That nervous energy vibrating in my bones isn't failure, it's growth. It's the feeling of me adjusting and changing, albeit awkwardly and uncomfortably, into a more capable, strong, wise, and for the hell of it let's just add charming, person. The girl who is terrified of people not liking her, of displeasing people, is turning into the girl who can confidently (read: with all the grace of a beached whale in a too small bowler hat, but still) tell a boy that she doesn't want to have sex with him, even though if she doesn't he probably won't talk to her ever again. The girl who is afraid to make phonecalls is turning into the girl who can confidently answer student questions over the phone and call up Robison Air TWICE to get a technician over to fix the air conditioner. The girl who was terrified of being alone for the rest of her life has been single (mostly) by choice for almost a year. The girl who didn't have a job this time last year is now taking on more hours and more work than ever (and, oh god, writing an entire grant proposal). The girl who thinks this all sounds vain still thinks this all sounds vain, but is in the process of trying to convince herself that confidence is not vanity. So yes, I feel this uncomfortable tension, but, I think, that's just the push and pull of my heart and my mind (but not my body because I eat too much ice cream) becoming better, and stronger, and more capable than ever.

Jumper: Thrifted, Top: Delia's, Sandals: Korks by Kork-Ease

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Until tomorrow,

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Old Fashioned

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`I'm not generally thankful for Sundays, but last week was ridiculous, so I'm pretty alright with welcoming in a new week. Thankfully, this weekend was a nice mix of fun and lazy. On Saturday, I went to the Pleasantville Music Festival with my friend Stephanie. It was so nice, guys. It was outdoors on a big lawn, so while we got a little sunburnt, we had a good time jamming out, sitting on the grass, and eating Italian ices. And quesadillas. And funnel cake. And lemonade. There were a bunch of bands there, but I really wanted to see Good Old War and Delta Spirit, who I've been listening to like crazy lately. The frontman of Good Old War had the best dance moves I've ever seen in my life, and the frontman of Delta Spirit had the best hair (and face, and everything else) I've ever seen in my life. Today has been the lazy half of the weekend, since I've just been brooching out some brooches for my brooch shop, and I got to hang around in Barnes and Noble drinking a frappecino.

This outfit is definitely something high school me would adore, and then poorly attempt to emulate. Grammar school me on the other hand would hate it, because grammar school me wasn't into anything that didn't show off my breasts/wasn't a pink velour tracksuit. I went through my slutty phase early, okay? Anyway, I've been trying to think of a way to style these chucks, because I got an urge to wear them again, so I ended up with a slightly older, cuter version of my every day look in high school.
Jeans: Levi's, Dress/tunic/shirt: Callie's

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Oh, and for those of you wondering about the, uh, (non-) booty call mentioned in the previous post, it was kind of like this. Just replace the text in the first frame with "He wanted to have sex with me." WHY CAN'T TWO PEOPLE JUST MAKE OUT? WHY?

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Until tomorrow,

Thursday, July 12, 2012

More Adventurous

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Lately, I've been blogging only when I have something to say and show, not just show. Maybe show and tell would have worked better, since that's actually a phrase. Right now, the only thing I can think of to tell is the tragic tale of my first real "booty call," which, while I am way too open about my personal life on this blog, is probably a story best saved for another day. Or never. You know, whichever. Aside from that, the only thing that I've been sort of obsessing over is my Write Four Lines a Night Because Kurt Vonnegut Told You To Challenge. That was long winded. I mentioned it a few posts ago, that I was trying to write four lines of poetry every night, good or bad or really really bad, just to keep myself writing. There have been plenty of sleepy nights where I enter my room and the light's already out, and I'd rather go straight to bed, but instead I work for a few minutes by the glow of the computer screen. I've done it for two weeks now, and have mostly written really weird things, but it still feels so nice to be creating a very little something every night.

In other news, I appear to be channeling a scatter-brained art teacher from the 90's with this outfit. And I need to change my hair again. I tell you, I would chop it all off if I didn't think my face would be 100% nose without some hair to counterbalance it.

Skirt: Vintage, Vest: Salvation Army, Blouse: Macy's, Sandals: Korks by Kork-Ease

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Until tomorrow,