Month: January 2015

Book review: ‘Refinery29: Style Stalking’, by Piera Gelardi and Christene Barberich

(Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review. However I was not compensated for writing a review and as always all opinions are my own.)

Refinery29-Style-Stalking-book

Refinery29: Style Stalking, by Piera Gelardi and Christene Barberich (paperback, 192 pages). Two out of five stars.

This book was kind of a big disappointment for me. It’s definitely aimed at twenty-something young women who really, really love fashion and fashion blogs. While I do like fashion and street style, I don’t get into such high-fashion labels and looks as this book seems to embrace, so a lot of the looks shown just weren’t “me”. If you really enjoy street style blogs like The Sartorialist or Man Repeller, this book might be a great fit for you. If you’ve ever read one of those blogs and scratched your head in confusion at something a blogger was wearing, then…it’s not.

With that said, if you’re new to dressing or are just in a wardrobe rut, this book does offer a lot of tips for creating your own look: how to re-wear pieces, how to mix prints, etc. Sprinkled throughout you’ll find advice from frequently snapped celebs like Solange Knowles on how to look fashionable and unique.

Unfortunately I felt like most of what was said, I’d already learned by reading Glamour and Lucky magazine. I also feel like this book is a little dated: obviously any fashion manual is going to appear slightly so, but some of the trends shown in the pages (flatform sandals, anyone?) make me think that future readers will not just be able to date this book’s decade–they’ll be able to pick out the exact year. I prefer a slightly less trendy approach to dressing, so that was just another point that made this book not the best fit for me.

Overall, like I said: perfect for the crowd that already reads this type of blog religiously. Not such a great fit for everyone else.

21-day Kindness Challenge, day eight: make something with your hands

21-day kindness challenge

I don’t really have time today for any crafting, but I can bake–I think some blueberry-banana muffins would be just perfect for this cold, slushy day.

Quote for the day (from the daily prompt e-mail): “That’s the thing with handmade items. They still have the person’s mark on them, and when you hold them, you feel less alone.”  — Aimee Bender

21-day Kindness Challenge, day seven: eat your meals mindfully

21-day kindness challenge

I’m guilty of treating meals as an imposition on my busy schedule–I eat on the go, while working at the computer, while reading or watching TV. I don’t really focus on my food and as a result I don’t pay a lot of attention to what I’m putting in my mouth. Not only does this mean I overeat or eat things that aren’t good for me because they’re convenient, I don’t enjoy my meals as much as I should.

For the New Year I’ve really been focusing on slowing down, setting a place at the table, and sitting down to enjoy my meal before moving back into the flow of daily activities. I find that not only do I enjoy my food more, I enjoy that small “break”–even if it’s only fifteen minutes–in which I don’t have to be checking e-mail, driving to work, or completing some other activity.

Quote for the day (from the daily prompt e-mail): “We eat every day, and if we do it with a focus and care it can be a wonderful thing. It changes the quality of your life.”  — Alice Waters

The good, the middling and the just plain bad of the 2015 Golden Globes

I started flipping through images for a “best-of” Golden Globes fashion post and realized…I liked almost NOTHING that hit the red carpet Sunday night. NOTHING! Emma Stone killed it, as usual, and there were a few other honorable mentions, but for the most part I just disliked everything I saw. Maybe it was me…maybe it was the designers…who knows!

Anyway, in the end, I had a handful of best-dressed ladies to point out, a bunch of “almost” looks, and a few “heck, no”s. This is going to get long, so I’ll cut if off and let you click to continue reading!

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21-day Kindness Challenge, day six: Reflect on three things that give meaning to your life

21-day kindness challenge

My relationships with my friends and family definitely bring meaning to my life–interacting with the people I care about, and who care about me, brings me happiness even if the rest of my day is going downhill in a hurry.

I would also say that reading brings meaning and happiness to my life. Shocker, I know! But stories–the reading thereof, or the telling and sharing of them–is so important to me. I think this also has to do with expanding my mind–in reading, you learn so much. I can’t be happy with a stagnant mind.

I would say that getting back to nature is important in giving my life meaning and joy. I think you can learn a lot about the world, and about yourself, by just sitting quietly observing nature and meditating. That’s something I want to do more this year once the weather is warm enough to crawl out of my blanket and get outdoors. I feel incredibly at peace when I’m in the outdoors–there’s no human noise to distract you, for one thing, so it’s very calming, and there’s something very healing about getting back to the woods or the countryside. I think this is one of the reasons I would struggle to live in a big city–they’re exciting, for sure, but they’re also terribly artificial and busy. Sometimes it’s good to not be busy!

I’m going to cheat and throw in a fourth one: helping other people, even in small ways. It can be a smile to someone who looks like they’re having a rough day, or helping someone with a project–big or small, it doesn’t matter. I think reaching out brings happiness not only to the person you’ve helped, but to you as well.

Quote for the day (from the daily prompt e-mail): “Our souls are hungry for meaning, for the sense that we have figured out how to live so that our lives matter.”  — Harold Kushner