a finished top + new travels ahead

toronto top1toronto top4toronto top3toronto top5Simplicty pattern #1694, version E.
French seams on chiffon are definitely the way to go!

I’ve been trying to focus for seriously the past hour on giving the dirty details on the makings of this shirt. My mind is totally elsewhere though.

Because I’M LEAVING FOR JAPAN IN A WEEK.

So so many loose ends to take care of since I’ll be there for about two weeks. Already starting to pack since I’m only taking carry-on luggage with me. I must not forget to get my rent and other stupid bills together before I go. I would totally worry about my plants, but since they already died about two months ago (R.I.P.) that’s one less thing to take care of. I’m kinda freaking out about my HAIR because I totally can’t be bothered with all that while I’m there. But I’m going to the local Beauty Supply tomorrow to buy some hair weave [sigh] and attempt to do this style on myself in the next few days….

For better or worse, I’ll show pics before I go. NOT excited about doing this either. Last time I had any type of braids in my hair was….middle school? Wayyyy long ago. And I totally didn’t put them in myself – No Way! But thanks to YouTube, I think I gots this *cracking knuckles*

But seriously, let’s talk a moment about this shirt.

  • Simplicity pattern #1694 is an easy project that could technically be finished in a single day. It took me longer, of course. I tend to take lots of Instagram stalking and looking-in-the-refrigerator-for-what-I-don’t-know breaks. But it makes for a simple flowy shirt. Be forewarned it’s a loose, boxy cut. Not form hugging or acquainting much at all!
  • This is the fabric I just purchased in Toronto on my last trip. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough fabric to finish, hence the bright pink satin-y piece I placed in the back. I think it’s a nice contrast though + I’m in love with the single center-back pleat!
  • First time working with chiffon fabric. Naturally, I was scared. BUT Oona and Miesha left some helpful tips in the comments of the previous post – SO VERY HELPFUL!! Thanks ladies!
  • I secretly wanted to make a quick and easy project to wear for my trip. Now that I’m finished though, I’m not sure that I’ll be taking it. However, my Rainbow Brite plaid/chambray shirt is sooooo coming with me!

Definitely more before I go. Have a great weekend!

pretty pretty chiffon

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King Textiles in Toronto, Ontario fashion district.

Oh you know, just holding up some beautiful chiffon fabric I scored in Toronto’s fashion district up to the light pouring in my hotel room like a familiar scene straight from the Lion King or something.  Yeah, I was that proud. Only thing is, I have NO idea how to actually work with chiffon.

Hashtag. HELP.

But first things first is this blasted high-waist shorts pattern. I’ve been at home ill since Sunday, so I haven’t given it much thought besides the feeling of giving up, lol. I’m starting to feel better though, so maybe I’ll give it another go. Because if not, I can always use the fabric for a crop top or something just as equally anti-fall season-ish.

it’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood

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There’s something very Mister Rogers about wearing a uniform. I don’t sing into a camera, but I tend to put on each piece of my monkey-suit at a glacial pace. Since I always sport the unisex (old man) cardigan option, I’m almost sure that’s what really sets the vibe off. But I guess even that fella had different color cardigans and sneakers to wear. I just woke up feeling like I was not in the mood for anything. Most especially work. I figured since I had hours upon hours to kill before I started my next trip, I’d do the responsible thing and get new shoes, pantyhose, and watch for work. Hello Target.

But even though you get the new shoes, doesn’t matter which style, somehow it’s the same shoe. Replaced the white watch I had (that I spilled scalding hot coffee all over on my last trip) with one with a mauve band and glitzy face. Panty hose….don’t get me started! Although mundane, poppin’ tags on new merchandise never gets old. Somehow working 3 flights today doesn’t feel so unappealing.

Well. Gotta start getting ready now.

*sigh*

Have a splendid weekend you guys!

back to work (manhattan beach, la)

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If you are staying in a hotel near LAX airport around Century Blvd (a major street) or have some hours between flights, I highly recommend taking advantage of the Ocean Express Shuttle. It’s a nice bus that will take you to Manhattan Beach, nice shopping areas, and dining spots for $5 round trip! After an early start to a 10-hour work day, by 4pm the other flight attendant and I were kicking waves at the beach, holding starfish at the pier, and browsing unique (and way overpriced) boutiques on Manhattan Beach Blvd.

I’m sure it’s written somewhere that Los Angeles is just not allowed to have a bad day. To say that the weather was good is just an insult. Sunshine galore paired with refreshingly chill breezes. There are no “white” people to be found; everyone is tan. They also had gorgeous succulent plants EVERYWHERE. I have never in my life seen them bloom like that. As we strolled down the sidewalks looking for a decently priced place to dine, I stopped by a group of planters and whipped out my phone.

Me: (saying without thinking) “Oh. my. gosh. These are probably the best looking succulents I’ve ever seen! I MUST TAKE A PICTURE.”

Her: *stopped* *blank stare* [Laughter] *shaking her head*

I like plants, okay?

caye caulker, belize

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It feels absolutely amazing to say that I turned 30 here. My friend and I arrived into Belize City airport on my birthday morning. After we went through customs, we hopped in a taxi to the Water Taxi station where we took a 40 minute boat ride to the island of Caye (pronounced ‘key’) Caulker. The island is small, beautiful and simple. Sparse white sands and palm trees with more coconuts than you could stand to eat in one lifetime. Clear water and happy, bare footed locals. There are no cars – only bikes + golf carts for faster transport, but it’s just as easy to use your feet. When I say small, I mean that you could walk the entire span of the island in seriously 20 minutes.

The trip was quick. Only 3 days and 2 nights, but to be honest it was plenty. Usually the first day you arrive somewhere by plane is a wasted day. We got to the island, checked in + dropped our few belongings except for our mini day bags on our back and proceeded to begin the day there. This was around noon. After a meal of red snapper fish, coconut rice, beans, plantains, and coleslaw and more meandering around under the gently overcast skies, we knew the entire island by 2pm. You live life outside all day long. You carry no worries or agendas or deadlines to meet with the entire day. You just dance between sun and shade and wait to get hungry again so you can try a new place to eat on the island that you passed a few times earlier. I didn’t feel any different on my birthday, but it was definitely one of the longest days of my life.

The mantra of Caye Caulker is “Go Slow”. On the second day I recall crossing on the streets as this older fella on his bike was coming pretty swiftly from the other direction. I was sure that we eventually were headed for a collision, so I started picking up my pace to reach the other side. He casually redirected his path making a huge half-moon detour to avoid me, and proceeded to twist his neck around as he passed to give me an odd look while he shook his head and laughed. It wasn’t until his hearty chuckle killed my adrenaline that I realized that I wasn’t in any actual danger.  I had a but-you-can’t-take-the-big-city-out-of-the-girl moment. It apparently didn’t jive well on an island lacking cars, street signs, and cross walks. Kinda refreshing though.

Every palm tree that swayed above your head carried a nest of coconuts. They were everywhere. Some had made it to the ground on their own I’m sure. Some were collected on tables in the streets for sale, as there were peddlers on nearly every path selling crafty wares, food, etc. We stopped at one table with freshly gathered coconuts (with an even fresher batch growing above the table…talk about supply and demand). The guy was offering to cut a coconut open and put a straw in it for us so we could enjoy the juice inside for 5 Belize dollars (which is $2.50 USD). We accepted. He placed two coconuts in his arms, grabbed a machete, and then proceeded to cut the tops off of each on a pre-carved tree stump that served as his chopping stand. He placed straws in each coconut and told us to come back after we finished the juice so he could hack it down further so we could eat the coconut meat. There was SO much juice inside! After carrying our heavy juice boxes around and taking ridiculous photos of ourselves taking sips of juice out of a real coconut, we came back as we were told an hour or so later + enjoyed it further. All for two dollars and fifty cents.

I could go on, but I just wanted to express to you that this was all I wanted for the longest. I just wanted to travel outside the U.S. and Canada and enjoy a REAL vacation and new experiences. I met people that have lived in Belize their entire lives and other travelers from Sydney, Toronto, Italy, Ireland, you-name-it! As a kid, we never really took any vacations growing up. Not because we didn’t want to, just because we couldn’t afford to. I missed out on some study abroad opportunities for the same reasons. But after I graduated college, I got my passport in 2007 with the hopes of actually using it one day. I do use it for work going to Canada, and soon Mexico, but I stared at that stamp a while after the customs officer handed it back to me in Belize. I made it here. On my 30th birthday!

There is still so much more to see. I cannot even wait!!!

 

 

 

 

 

random bits


1. Good news? My curtain came in from UO! Bad news? The color is much darker than I expected…..which would be O.K. if the material wasn’t so incredibly cheap :/ The fabric is thinner than an inexpensive bed sheet you would purchase from Walmart. Loved the print, but it’s going back!  TODAY.

2. Had two layovers in Detroit this week (within the past seven days). This was taken outside of my room window before I had to head back to Houston. Snow is a beautiful thing….in small doses.

3. I started my online class this week! And my nephew came over to help me with some of the homework. He definitely has a different approach to learning. It doesn’t seem to be all that effective, but he’s much too cute not to keep around.

hello wisconsin

 1. A cool + rainy day in downtown Milwaukee, WI. Riverwalk District, I believe.
2. Being welcomed by pretty towel art in a hotel room makes me smile. I love the animal ones the best though.

I’m currently here on a 32 hour layover, which really means that whilst writing this post I am somehow “working”. I am okay with this. And the not-so-pleasant-weather – I’m okay with that too. A little rain and cold weather never hurt anyone that packed a solid jacket and scarf at least. This actually makes for my second time ever visiting in Wisconsin. Most people think of cheese and the Green Bay Packers, but the two things that always come to mind are my childhood best friend + the act of paying-it-forward.

My childhood bestie moved away when she was 9 and I was 10 years old. We’re exactly one year apart – both born on the same day of different years. That fact alone has always bonded us heavily I think. When she moved from Houston to Madison, we wrote letters for years. You know, that was before email was the big thing and you had to sit down and write on lined paper by hand. To this day though, we’ll exchange the occasional call or email, but she is not a believer of any type of social media or even the idea of cell phones. She is, however, a huge advocate of human rights and the care for women. She is actually the FIRST woman of color to become a Midwife in the ENTIRE state of Wisconsin!!

That. Is. Amazing.

I saved up some money in college and visited her for a few days back in 2005 to celebrate our 21st + 22nd birthdays together. A close friend of hers bought her and I both a ticket to the Neko Case concert. He was a huge fan of her music, and the ticket was waiting for me even before I had arrived. I had never heard of her before, and this guy didn’t even know me at all. The concert was absolutely amazing, and when I later thanked him for getting the ticket he told me not to worry about it. He said, “Sometimes it’s nice to get something special from someone you don’t even know.”

Call me crazy, but that has always stayed with me. Whenever I have the opportunity to volunteer, like for my local Habitat for Humanity, I think about that very message. And I keep waiting for my moment to buy a ticket for someone else that doesn’t know me like that.

So needless to say, Wisconsin will always have a small place in my heart.

P.S.– And Yes. In case you were wondering, the post title was definitely a steal from That 70’s Show. Although you probably weren’t wondering that at all.

something good can work

Moxie’s grill/bar in Toronto, Canada. I’ve been here a couple times on layovers and this is probably one of my favorite burgers thus far in my 29 years! It’s the ‘Mediterranean’ with basil pesto, feta + goat cheese. The burger patty is well seasoned and the consistency of a nice meat loaf. SO good.

Watching a free showing of Pretty in Pink at the Miller Outdoor Theater in Houston, TX. I was too ashamed to tell my friends that I had never this awesome 80’s classic before!! Blankets on the lawn, sangria in thermoses, and bags of already popped popcorn. Perfect weather, perfect company.

Le. Sigh. This is about as far as I am in the decorating process for the main living area. Plus some Ikea shelving on the opposite wall that you can’t see. I ordered this off-white couch/futon from Walmart of all places, but the reviews were great, it was affordable for me, and thankfully it’s only available online. The bottom line is I’ve got big plans + a small wallet so the update on this room makeover will be coming ever so slowly, haha. All in all, living on my own is fantastic!

I’ve been making more meals at home and hence eating healthier meals. I struck gold on one of my flights and picked up the October issue of Real Simple magazine with a feature for 10 ideas for kale. (If you don’t know about how good kale is for you, I highly recommend you read up!) I made the kale, broccoli, and feta sauté. It’s very quick, nutritious and delicious especially if you are a fan of Greek food like myself.

Toronto, again. Taking pics of the style I’ve been wearing lately. It keeps well + looks professional when I work….I met Spike Lee on the flight I worked from Houston to Austin my first day or two sporting this look. He was the first to walk on the plane; he smiled big, extended his hand to shake mine and then says, “You look like you’re from Brooklyn.”

I have no idea what that means exactly.

But at the end of the flight he asked me what school I went to + said I looked like Maya Angelou when she was young (!!!!)

WUT!? SO taking that as a compliment!

And THEN about a week later in the same month (September) I spot Robert Horry in O’hare airport (!!!!!)
Back in the day when the Houston Rockets were exceptional, he was my fave player on the team! I barely make it to that man’s shoulders.

Last but not least THIS FREAKING PARKA!!!!! (I know, I know, I realize I overdo it with the caps + exclamations – I don’t yell this much in real life….truth.) I pinned this goodness a few days ago. It’s a daunting looking pattern to me, especially seeing as I don’t have much experience with Burda patterns. But this one is worth making a practice one first out of muslin…..UGH I hate doing that because I’m lazy + I want results yesterday. Can’t afford to mess up a good 4.5 yards of good fabric though!

Right now, I’m thinking this parka in a Canary or Mustard yellow. Ya know. Something a bit brighter for the Fall/Winter season. I’d like to think of it as a much louder khaki.

So in closing, I know this probably should’ve been a few posts, but I obviously haven’t updated in a month so. there.

Also, the title of this post doesn’t make much sense I suppose. It’s actually the title of a Two Door Cinema Club song + the remix of that song has just been added to my ever-growing workout mix.

WHY do I feel the need to over-explain myself? Annnnd I’m yelling again. Gah!