Saturday, July 28, 2012

Quest for the Perfect Everyday Boots

Everyday Boots

Clockwise from top left: Rum Moto Boot by Jeffrey Campbell, Dolcetta by Dolce Vita Harness Heel Boot, Areas Boot by Jeffrey Campbell, Matiko Ace Boot.

When it comes to shoes, there are women who choose to buy many pairs at a super low cost, those who would rather invest in statement pieces that last longer, and then there are those lucky ladies who have both -- the arsenal of crazy expensive designer shoes. I'm a member of the middle troop. I like to invest in good quality, semi-trendy shoes that will go with a lot of things.

I've been in need of a new pair of boots for a great, long while. Fortunately, my go-to puppies look kind of cool scuffed up:

Although I've been able to prolong the life of these boots by polishing them every once in a while, sometimes I wonder if it's against their wishes and they'd rather me just pull the plug already.

Either way, I need boots that are more versatile - a pair that have a more of a heel so they're more feminine and can be worn with dresses (but are still tough-looking). So what do you guys think about the above candidates?

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Babesicle Make Pretty

Do you ever have that tug-of-war with yourself about when you should finally go in for a trim? One day you may look in the mirror and think, Ugh, I need a haircut. It's looking pretty haggard. But maybe the next day you style it differently and think, Huh, not that bad. Dare I say it even looks good. Plus I'm growing it out... And on and on until you're this close to legally changing your name to Scraggles Mcgee. I've recently been in the on-the-fence stage, but I decided to book the appointment anyway since I'll be visiting New York in a few days and I want to arrive "stunning and impossibly fresh-looking" (SATC quote).

I went to Emily at Deeda Make Pretty Salon which occupies a beautiful space on 34th St. in East Sacramento. It's a Bumble and Bumble salon and contains a mini boutique of Cuffs clothing inside. I have my eye on this dress they carry. I tried it on and it's sublime! The perfect, elegant LWD (or LCD since it's more cream than white). Anyway, I went in to get my ends freshened up and a nice shiny blowout and am happy to report that I emerged sans scraggles!

Before: Scraggles Mcgee.

After: Smoothie Mcgee.

Business card rainbow.

Chalk is an underrated medium.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Alley Cat

Rompin' Around a Boulevard Park Alley

It's that meow again, guys, I mean time. Speaking of time, nothing beats the golden hour when it comes to lighting and atmosphere, and I was fortunate enough to catch it right before it transformed into a cool summer night. Before the sun took its daily dive, however, it was in the nineties, so this light, backless romper was the perfect thing to throw on. This belt is a genius piece because it permits me to wear any color shoes I want since it has brown, black, and white accents. It also adds interest and ties the look together. Then I proceeded to blast the sea of chocolate with colorful accessories.

 Today's G St./H St. alley is pretty down-home and old-fashioned. A no frills alley, if you will. It forgoes pavement for gravel and is home to an old Ford pickup that made me feel like I was in a country music video. Sweet home Sacramento....

Romper: LF, oxfords: H&M. Accessories detailed below.

Purse: Reform School, sunglasses: spray painted by Navid Deghgan, ring: Sugar Shack, bracelets: Urban Outfitters, belt: Petro Zillia

Meow! Alley cat out.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Etymology of Babesicle

Oh boy. I discovered the meaning of "babesicle" as defined by Urban Dictionary:

1. Babesicle

An extremely good-looking female usually with blonde hair (although occasionally strawberry blondette) and blue eyes. In certain rare cases, she may also have a very unique and wildly attractive personality that could make an old man cry. Beauty and brains applicable. Most male callers will find that they cannot keep up with a Babesicle, as her fiery temper and lightning wit may be intimidating. Most, but not all.

Babesicles can be sexily dangerous! If you've no or little experience please remain calm, and vacate the premises! Nerds are at risk for a low eye-contact situation.

"Dude... she's a Babesicle!"

I'm not blonde or strawberry blonde for that matter, and let me assure you that I didn't choose the name because I consider myself to be "extremely good-looking." Babesicle is just a pet name my ex and I used to call each other. When you're in a relationship, the standard terms of endearment such as "babe" get old real fast. So we started generating new ones, each of them zanier and more outlandish than the last. Among the names he came up with for me were: Cutes Vandocious (which I made him spell "Cyootz"), Baby Baberson, Sexy Mexi, Cuteness Overload, (C.O. for short -- he was CO2, get it?)..... the list goes on. But Babesicle stuck, so much so that we gave it a little twist by pronouncing it phonetically like, baw-beh-see-clay. Nerdy-ass English majors. How about you guys? Any crazy, or just revoltingly cutesy pet names you're brave enough to share?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Stuff Numbering More Than Four and Less Than Six (Five Things)

Okay, okay, you caught me. I'm doing a Five Things post. I know everyone and their mother has a such a segment, but I suppose there's a good reason for that, namely that it allows you to mishmash a handful of random things that have one thing in common: they make you happy. In this hyper-curational day and age, it can be easy to try to wrench out a common theme that isn't necessarily there. So it's nice to have the freedom to throw your hands up as if to say, "I just like these things, okay? I like them, and they are going to share this space and get to know each other." I mean, haven't you said those exact words before? :)

Here are five things that I think share the awesome gene:

 1. Keel's Simple Diary

I chose orange, but they have a rainbow of colors to choose from.

Keel's Simple Diary prompts you to describe your day in an abstract way by asking you to encapsulate it in one word. They give you three choices, for example:

Your day was (only choose one):
( ) an intermission.   ( ) transparent.   ( ) unorthodox.

There are also all sorts of kooky true-false statements and interpretive sketches that aim to get at the core of your beliefs and personality.

2. New music

Stoked about my new purchases from Phono Select.

My car is a hooptie. Not a blatant hooptie, as you may not be able to tell from the outside. But don't be fooled, it's a hooptie in disguise. I've found a way to coexist somewhat peacefully with the duct-taped glove compartment, finicky air conditioning, and defective side mirror. But one thing that has managed to bum me out and inconvenience the hell out of my music-listening game is the fact that one day, out of the blue, the buttons on my CD stereo fell completely unresponsive. Basically all I can do is change CDs, forcing me to listen to CDs the whole way through, without any of that ADD-ish switching of tracks. This makes finding a solid start-to-finish CD crucial. That means no snooze-fest songs to interrupt my car-dancing groove sessions. That's why I was so excited when I found a five-track Parliament Phunkadelic CD, which is as far from a snooze-fest as you can get.

I also found a Miss You Much single from Miss-Jackson-If-You're-Nasty. This will come in handy when I eventually get a record player. Man, fixing my stereo, purchasing a record player - my music to-do list is getting pretty crowded!

3. Broadacre Coffee's Lavender Latte

 A purist might argue that a shot of espresso and milk makes the best latte, but sometimes a little something extra, like Broadacre's house-made lavender syrup, sends it over the edge. The coffee house also boasts an eclectic playlist. 

4. Snakeskin Print

Snakeskin in a neutral print pairs well with almost anything.

These green-eyed loves from Madewell are on my lust list.

5. Pinkberry's Strawberry Flavor

New favorite combo: strawberry flavor with milk chocolate crunch, strawberries, and a wafer.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

A House in the Hills

A girl's first apartment is special. And I'm not talking college. College apartments are also special, but in more of a finding-your-furniture-on-the-street kind of way. (Literally on the street. Have you ever cruised through UCLA's Westwood neighborhood? You could stock a whole IKEA with all the curbside junk. Not that I'm complaining.)

My first non-college apartment was in the artsy, Silverlake neighborhood of Los Angeles, aka Hipstertown, USA. My "house in the hills" was actually a tiny one bedroom apartment that my roommate had converted into a two bedroom by refashioning the living room into a bedroom for herself. I lived in the actual bedroom. Such is life for a single lady in the city. But I loved it in all its tiny, overpriced, gentrified glory -- particularly the rooftop view and it being spitting distance from boutiques and restaurants.

I also loved decorating it with shabby chic, thrifted items and colorful accents. I lived there for almost two years until my move back to Sacramento a couple months ago, and although I've loved being close to my family again, I do miss my charming little space in Silverlake! Here's a peak inside....

My number one criteria for an apartment: good light.

Reading nook.

Postcards I bought years ago in Venice, Italy.

I kept my favorite books in my nightstand/bookcase. For easy, pre-slumber grabbing.

An inspiration board is always a good mood-lifter. Especially when it includes photo booth pics.

My lovely bedspread.

My favorite comment from a guest regarding the above photograph of Frida Kahlo has to be, "Is that your mom?"

Coffee table books, books from college, and just plain favorite books (Naked by David Sedaris).

Rooftop view of Downtown LA on a smoggy evening.

Rooftop view to the other side. The Hollywood sign could be seen through the trees during the day.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Alley Cat

Tank: Forever 21, skirt: H&M, sandals: Sam Edelman, belt: LF, purse: Reform School.
Welcome to the first entry of Babesicle's Alley Cat series, where I forage through Sacramento's (and beyond) coolest alleys! 

Functionally speaking, alleys are just private passageways, but esthetically speaking, they hold a certain quaint appeal, lending themselves to cool, chipping paint; overgrown vegetation; and maybe some cool street art. They supply a nice break from the bustle of the streets, and each feels unique from the next. They've always stimulated my affinity for whimsical, secret garden-type spaces, and I think the right alley can offer substantial charm to any neighborhood. Oh, and they're also the perfect place for a photo shoot!

Midtown Sacramento has a ton of alleys, and my friend, Navid, and I couldn't have stumbled across a more fitting one for my Navajo-inspired outfit. I love the salmon, mint green, and Southwestern paintings!

Meow! See you next time! Alley Cat out.

P.S. Can anyone guess where this alley is located?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Music Mondays

Gothic Pipsqueak

We're in the thick of summer, which may incline one toward beachy tunes, sunny indie-pop,  or maybe even some over-the-top Miami party jams. But today I took a break from the cheery numbers and flashed back to a couple artists I was listening to during the winter months: Grimes and Salem. The two fall under the genre of goth-pop, which sounds like something birthed from Hot Topic and Justin Beiber, but is actually just a darker but just as sexy sister to electronica. 

Grimes has marched to the beat of her own synthesizer since her debut album in 2010, but met critical acclaim this year with her third album, Visions. Her "grave-wave" style (Forget naming nail polishes, wouldn't you love to name musical movements?) is at once sexy, strange, and danceable in a lo-fi, ethereal kind of way. In a makes-you-want-to-apply-black-eye-makeup-and-twirl-around-in-a-field-on-a-cloudy-day kind of way. You know.

Grimes's latest album, Visions.
Oh, one more thing about Grimes, she (real name: Claire Boucher) sings in a chipmunked baby voice. So if you ever doubted that goth could be adorable, think again. It's unexpectedly charming against the dark beats and gives me no choice but to employ the ever-pretentious word -- juxtaposition. As in, the juxtaposition is real good (Said with a hillbilly twang. There, less pretentious?).

                                       Grimes's single, "Oblivion", from her latest album, Visions.

Grimes's song, "Vanessa" off of Darkbloom, her 2011 collaborative album with fellow Canadian musician, d'Eon.

Onto Salem, which also falls under the grave-wave umbrella, but in a hip-hop way. It's so cool when opposite genres collide. Airy vocals hover over distorted bass beats and Southern snares to create a world in which Gucci Mane might be serenaded by an Arwen-looking chick wearing a crown of daisies. In a field on a cloudy day. I'm getting a lot of field-imagery.

Here's my favorite Salem song called "Redlights":

Now that all that adorable, sexy doom and gloom is out of my system, I think I'll go back to the new Frank Ocean now. Maybe I'll cover that next week? What are you guys listening to this summer?