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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Amanda in Wonderland

Alright, I'm sure we all know how desperately in love I am with the whimsically wonderful Alice in Wonderland, and I would like to take this moment to praise whoever decided that Alice was to be such a prevalent fashion muse at this moment in time. Though I'm positive most might be growing a bit tired of this trend -- it has been done time and again --I honestly cannot get enough. Oh well, naysayers, I'm going to post this gorgeous spread of Amanda Seyfried, from Vogue Italia April 08, anyway, say what you might, and I will continued to be inspired by this blissfully recurrent theme. I have never been one to apologize for the things I love, but I will say this: I'm so very sorry that Alice in Wonderland just happens to kick ass.

That's right, I said it =)

I must admit that the first three are my favorites, and the depicted gardens contrast strikingly with the metallic city in the latter three. It is all a bit reminiscent of Gwen Stefani's What You Waiting For? video, but I think that only solidifies my affections for this spread. Amanda Seyfried is a gorgeous, talented actress, and I can't wait to see her in Mamma Mia! If that whole acting thing doesn't work out for her (yeah, right!), I'm sure she could do some work as a model or something... ;)

I desperately want to dress like this and take fabulous pictures of myself for the world to see. Hmm, I do believe that the wheels in my head are turning, and my yard does present more than a few tempting possibilities. I suppose we shall see what happens... (cue evil laugh)



confecionts&kisses,
Stephanie

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Gossip

As I read through my beloved gossip blogs (I know, I know, just shoot me now!) I spotted this recent photograph of Gossip Girl star Blake Lively:

I love the simplicity of a shirt dress. The sky-high hemline of Blake's keeps it cool and youthful, while the half-sleeves provide an extra bit of coverage to prevent the frock from falling into skank territory. I also like that the buttons only go halfway down, and the color-blocked detail is quite chic. Though Blake keeps her accessories to a minimum, I would personally cinch it all in with a cute little belt.

I haven't the slightest clue as to who the maker of this dress is -- and lord knows I'm far too lazy to look it up -- but I would really love to add a similar item to my wardrobe. I have a deep respect for simple pieces such as this. There are times when one does not want to put too much effort into an ensemble -- one such as, ahem, myself -- so I will definitely be on the lookout for something like this adorable shift.




confections&kisses,
Stephanie

Monday, June 16, 2008

Stephanie's Guide to Summer Fun

Summer is here again. It is a time for fun and mischief, though for some it can prove a daunting and overwhelming time. As we get stuck in the routine of class and homework, it can be difficult to figure out what to do with our new surplus of time. I am one of those people who say, "Oh I can't wait for summer! We are going to [insert a million activities] and have so much fun!" only to have the season arrive and then not do much of anything. It can be very easy to spend all of your time at the mall, and while shopping is basically my favorite thing to do, there is a world out there! The world is full of possibilities that are just waiting to be discovered. Mallrats be damned, I will not live at the mall. Though, you can bet I will be shopping up a bit of storm at some point. This is all more of an advice piece to myself, because if I am actually publishing a post, I will need to follow my own tips, right? So here it is, my little guide to summer fun!

1. Figure things out! Decide if you are the type to plan things or are more apt to spontaneity. Determine what you want out of the season and the ways to achieve it. It is always helpful to sit down and make a list of goals, as dorky as it may sound. Make an outline of your plans, decide what is most likely to happen, and don't set expectations too high. Figure out if you want a jam-packed schedule or want to lay low and relax. Decide what activities fit your style and remember that things won't always work out exactly as planned. Only expect to have fun, no matter what happens. It is summer, after all, so leave your worries with school years past.

2. Plan a trip with your friends! Whether a small excursion to your local beach or campground, or a full-blown, cross state -- or country -- road trip, you are guaranteed to bond and fill your fun meter to its content. My crew loves driving down to the beach for a day, and I can't tell you how many road trips we have attempted to plan. I hope to make one happen this summer, but I know that even if it doesn't, we will do too many other fun activities to count. I also really dig camping. I am -- surprisingly and uncharacteristically -- an outdoorsy nature girl, and I love roughing it in the great outdoors. The possibilities are endless, so take a trip and have a little adventure.

3. Get down with the nightlife! This is the time to stay up all night and sleep until noon. Clubs are fun for most, but I really prefer outdoor evening soirées. Pool parties are a no-brainer -- that is, if you have one or know someone who does. If you aren't in possession of a small body of water you can always set up a giant slip and slide and just go crazy with it. Flashlight water balloon and water gun fights are incredibly fun and refreshing during balmy summer nights. If you aren't into water-fun, you can always have a cocktail party. Set a theme (masquerade, tropical, rock star, 80's -- anything you want!) or simply request cocktail attire and don't let anyone in if they aren't dressed accordingly. It's always exciting to see people dressed to the nines. Another cool thing to try is to have a Rock Band or Guitar Hero party. Have everyone come dressed in the rock star best! Despite the abundance of possibilities, my all-time favorite summer night activity would have to be the bonfire. They are so quintessentially summer, and you can really bond with friends this way. Make s'mores, sing songs, do a tribal dance. Whatever floats your boat!

4. Step up your ensembles! It is so easy to get stuck in the casual rut during the school year, but summer leaves you no excuse to get lazy with your attire. It's your free pass to get a little quirky and different. You can give yourself a complete overhaul or make a subtle change. The point is that you can be anyone, and you won't have classmates to question you. Trade your sneaks for heels and gladiators, denim of floaty frocks, and ponytail holders for flowers and butterflies. If you are in need of inspiration, there are a slew of incredible bloggers who have the best style I have ever seen. Invite some friends over and get decked out for a photo shoot. Go high-fashion with it and couturify yourselves. Don't forget the crazy make up! The point is to wear what you love with abandon and get down with your stylish self.

5. Be healthy! This is one tip that I seriously need to take. Summer is just chock-full of yummy, healthy snacks. Fruits abound, and there is nothing sweeter than some berries or a piece of melon on a scorching day. Take more walks in the sunny weather, go to the park and play frisbee, swim, play catch, run through the sprinklers. This season begs for activity, so just do it! Don't, however, forget to wear sunscreen! I am amazed at how many girls don't do this everyday. I was put in the habit from a very early age, so I really don't think about it. It just something I do, and it is imperative for us all to practice safe sun. Yes, a tan is cute, but it is not healthy. There are so many self-tanners out there today, and the wonders they work leave no excuse to tan in the sun. And nobody looks cute with a sunburn. Also, don't think you are off the hook if you have darker skin. The sun will still be just as damaging. Just slather on that white stuff, your skin will thank you.

6. Go to a festival or concert! This is the time of year when these events are in full bloom, so take advantage of it! It is the perfect opportunity to dress up and have a good time. And just a note: you don't have to buy expensive tickets to see super-famous bands! There are tons of local bands everywhere, and they tend to have the most awesome performances. These shows are dirt-cheap to free, and so much fun. Intimate, laid back, and totally hip, it's a great way to support your local musicians, and to know about them before (that is if) they ever get famous. I can't wait for the day when my band, The Blue Hour, starts to play gigs. Music and summer together make beautiful, well, music!

7. Become a cuisine connoisseur! Get a group of friends and venture to the hottest restaurants in your area. It is great to experience new things together, and summer leaves plenty of time to spread your palette and discover the wonderful flavors of the world. You can even learn to cook, if you want, and cater your own dinner parties. I am personally a very domesticated girl, and the kitchen is where I feel the most at home. I used to love to whip up concoctions with my friends and pretend we were on our own little cooking show. A fun foody-party theme: The idea here is Iron Chef. Get a bunch of friends together and form two or three teams, pick a few judges, and select a secret ingredient. If you have never seen Iron Chef, the point is to make as many dishes as you can in certain amount of time with the secret ingredient. It's great to see what people come up with. If this is too much activity for you, simply try to master the grill on your own. There is no ability more valuable for summer than this one. Throw a barbecue or picnic to test your skills.

8. Get a job! I could personally use one right now. Find a place you really like, whether it be in retail or an office. Bookstores are great places to work. You meet people with similar interests and are surrounded by books! If reading isn't your thing, try out retail. You can try major stores, or, for the more cultured types, a vintage store. First dibs and the hottest new item is beyond awesome, and hello? Discount! Waiting tables can really help one to rake in the money. Not only are you paid a regular wage, but you get tips on top of it all. Don't get a job unless you think you will really enjoy it. You will only be miserable during the time that is supposed to be enjoyable, and that is just no fun for anyone. If you are lucky enough not to need a job, move on to the next tip.

9. Take up a hobby! We should always strive to improve ourselves, and there is guaranteed to be a class, team, or activity out there to suit your needs. Become a yoga master at your local gym, take a dance class, improve your artistic skills, learn to play an instrument, train for a marathon, join a team. There are so many things to do, it's insane! If there is something you have alway wanted to try, just do it. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Hobbies can open your life to a new world and help you to meet amazing people who share your passions. Don't be shy, just get out there and try it out.

10. Reconnect with friends! Many people think that summer can cause friends to grow apart, but I believe that summer is the perfect opportunity to get together with those you may have lost touch with during the busy school year. I know there are people who I used to be incredibly close to, but with whom I've not recently connected with due to us being preoccupied with our own separate lives. This season is ideal for rekindling those friendships. Do any of the things on this list, invite them to your parties, make an effort to get together. It is so important to make the first step. Waiting around never got anyone what they wanted, so call them up, send a message or a text, whatever. The point is to make contact and make an effort. You won't regret it!

The best advice I can give you is don't let yourself get bored. There are so many things this world has to offer, and it is all at your fingertips. Don't get lazy! Get off the couch, away from the television or computer, and make memories. Take a camera everywhere and scrapbook you adventures when Summer ends. You will always have that little treasure to look back on. Video scrapbooks work too! Film your friends every chance you get and compile the footage into a little fun movie of your summer.

So what are your plans? Who are you making them with? What are you looking forward to? No matter what happens, remember to have fun, laugh, and live. You know I will ;)



confections&kisses,
Stephanie

Obsession: Miu Miu Crisscross Bootie

Holy crap, I need this shoe. Purple, crisscrossed, and in bootie form? Where do I sign up?
I honestly can't get enough of Miu Miu shoes. Season after season, I am captivated by the delectable foot adornments that Miuccia Prada magically presents. How she works such magic on me, I will never know. What I do know is that I love these booties more than words could ever say. They would be perfect will little dresses and tights or over the knee socks, skinny jeans, or fellow coveted item, leather pants. I love how the two-toned deliciousness works perfectly to cultivate a both fun and sophisticated style. I want them, I need them, I have got to have them.

Where is $575.00 when you need it?



confections&kisses,
Stephanie

Color Me Lovely

I am growing increasingly bored with myself every minute. I want to be fun, and stylish, and quirky and just something, but I feel so plain and boring right now.

I am contemplating coloring my hair red again to give myself a little boost. My mane is currently a pale chestnut hue, which I'm sure it is actually a lovely color, but all my eyes see is mousy. What's a girl to do? I went fiery ginger a few months back and I loved it, which is strange considering my previous disdain for warm-toned hair on myself. My locks are seriously damaged and beat-up thanks to years of self imposed coloring ventures. It's my drug, to say the least, and I obsessively crave change on this particular feature. I have been nearly black (my natural hue), highlighted auburn, chocolate brown, near-blonde, and fire red. Out of everything I have tried, I must say that red imparts the most excitement and confidence in myself. Also, It gives my long waves a mermaid sparkle and makes me feel like somewhat of a mystical nymph. What more could I ask for?

There is an awesome conditioner from Aveda that deposits a lavish shade of scarlet to lighter hair. It gives just as much color than dye and actually makes my hair healthier. I adore Aveda products, and if you are clueless as to what they are, you need to look it up. Like now. They are botanically based and use organic ingredients, smell like foresty lusciousness, use recycled packaging, and leave my usual frizzily insane hair completely gorgeous and shiny. I can be green and pretty all at once.

So should I just go for it? I always feel so nervous when I decide to make a change, but I suppose it will wash out eventually and it could be a nice little pick-me-up.

It's time to reinvent. And rebel.




confections&kisses,
Stephanie

Saturday, June 14, 2008

More Inspiration and Life

I have been in an ethereal mood today. Though, then again, when am I not? I love stumbling upon gorgeous photography, the kind where you can't help but the be drawn in and imagine an entire story to go along with it. These are all really doing it for me at the moment, and I find myself yearning to live in the fantasy worlds that are portrayed here. I would like flowers for my hair and a fluffy, sheer frock, please. Oh, and I wouldn't mind an enchanted forest to reside in, either. Yeah, thanks.





My yard used to resemble a little fairytale-esque wood, but the once flowing grass has since been mowed to nonexistence and has dried and shriveled to a sad shade of tan. Depression =( On the bright side, we still have plenty of woodland critters, with a countless number of new baby squirrels. We came across an injured one today, as a matter of fact, and we are positive one of our dogs got to it. He was rushed to our local humane society and we are sure he will be alright. The fruit trees are also flourishing beautifully and I will soon have an abundance of yummy summer sustenance.

I am, however, in serious need of a get-away. Home life has been sitting on the mundane -- not to mention stressful -- side, and I just wish I could go on vacation somewhere lovely and exciting. Or maybe relaxing. Yes, I think I could some major relaxation at this moment in time. The official start of summer is rapidly approaching, and it couldn't come soon enough for me.

Can anyone say beach trip? I'm so there.



confections&kisses,
Stephanie

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Kitty Update

In a previous post I spoke of finding three itty-bitty kitties by the railroad tracks. We went back last night -- or rather early this morning, at about 1:00 -- and they were still there, being as cute as ever. We managed to catch them, after nearly two hours of failed attempts, and brought them back home. My oh my, were they a handful! The little black one was quite skiddish and hissed every time we got too close. He even nipped and clawed a bit. The other two were very calm in temperament and rather inquisitive. One even managed to escape from the cage that we were keeping them in and put up quite the chase. She hid behind a bookcase in the front living room and then managed to dart to our other living room and shimmy behind the wood burning fireplace. It was extremely frightening.

I stayed up nearly the entire night with them, and slept (from about six to nine) on the living room floor in the main house. I would have liked to have been able to take them back into my room, but alas, I have two pups who wouldn't have been too happy about that. It was a long night, to say the least. We handed all three off today to a friend who is a certified Animal Planet rescuer and who has experience in fostering kitties. I miss them already, but I know they will find wonderfully loving homes.

I am nothing short of lethargic today, and I am feeling quite ill at that. I think I am done with rescuing kittens for a while, though it did bring me an indescribable joy to do something like this. I have a deep motherly instinct, and I feel the need to nurture every chance I get. I hope the kitties will be happy in time, though they are very scared and confused at this point. I completely love the fact that I am a crazy cat lady. It's kind of fun... and completely exhausting.

Time for little a cat nap? I think so. (haha! Get it? CAT nap? Oh boy, I crack myself up.)



confections&kisses,
Stephanie

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Illusions

I would like announce that I am hopelessly in love with chocolate dipped Oreos. I can't control myself. I think I am in need of professional help. In other news, here is a little poetry for you all.

Illusion lies in your hands tonight.
Searching for something wrong to make this right.
But the only illusion is there inside your mind.

We're dancing beneath a purple sky.
The writhing ground won't ask us why.
We shake the air with laughter as time floats by.

The words that you let fall behind,
From your dripping mouth as we all unwind.
We all fall down to the illusions in our mind.


I love not knowing what I'm trying to say. It's fun. Go dark poetry, yeah!



confections&kisses,
Stephanie

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Experiencing Withdrawal

I honestly can't remember the last time that I made a fashion-related purchase, and I am going through serious withdrawal. My mum has cut off my funds, so to speak, and it has been an incredibly damaging blow to my happiness. Fashion is an integral part of my life, and I feel that I am rapidly running out of clothes that tickle my fancy. I have outgrown the style of most of the things that I own, and I'm craving something new and pretty. Materialistic? Maybe just a little, but I can't help it. This is a fashion blog, after all.

Here are a few cures to my current ailment:


Knee Socks - They have always reminded me of the movie Clueless, which is not entirely a bad thing. I remember attempting to dress like Cher and friends with little skirts and white knee socks when I was younger, and the resurgence of this style brings me back. It's very nostalgic for me, so I suppose that is why I am digging it so much. The styling of the socks today is more cheeky-sophisticate than ditzy teen. I love the way they look with oxford heels and full skirts, and I really liking the way Peaches pairs them with her Hunter wellies. They are also great to pull up over tights on cooler days, and I really like layering two pairs in contrasting shades. I would love to have an array of colors and textures to play with.
Oxford Heels & Ballet Flats - I am in desperate need of new shoes. I really want something with a little quirk, because I feel that shoes are a perfect outlet for self expression. I don't know how much I want to spend here, but these Forever 21 oxford heels (pictured above, but I really like them in black too) are dirt cheap and cute to boot. I also really love these. Green and on sale? Yes, please! Let's not even get me started on flats. I once had an adorable, patent cream pair with little bows. I bought them about two years ago, and loved them dearly, but then my doggie Coco decided to have them for lunch one day. This has prompted me to be a bit wary of purchasing cute shoes. I won't go into too much detail here, but all I can say is that my shoe collection now is almost entirely made up of, um, flipflops. Yea... enough said. I really don't want to waste all of my shoe money yet, however, since I am trying to save up for the Miu Miu F/W08 heels that I blogged of a few posts back. They are basically love =)
Ruffled Skirts - There was a time when all I would wear were frilly, flouncy skirts. I owned a formidable collection which contained an array of colors, shapes, and sizes. The magnitude of my skirt assortment has since dwindled, thanks to the fact that I have given most of them away. I once let a girl borrow my favorite of the bunch -- a peach, ruffled, silk chiffon confection -- only to have her return it to me with the tiers half torn off, stained, and utterly destroyed. Very sad, I know. I think I might have cried a little. I now mostly live in denim, but I would really like to build my now-tiny collection (if you can even call it that) of skirts back up to its previous magnificence. It's warming up, and I am in need of something stylish and heat-friendly. I'm drooling over the satin tiers of one pictured above, which can be purchased here, and I really love this post from The Vintage Society. While the outfits are lovely, the 90's theme completely draws me in.

Speaking of the 90's, I have to admit that it will always be my favorite era. It is the time of my childhood, and I have so many fun memories from back then: the music, the clothes, the Spice Girls. I miss all of that, so I am ecstatic that the style of that decade is back with a vengeance. I am really tempted to throw a 90's themed party sometime this summer. Everyone will dress in Clueless style, I'll play No Doubt's Tragic Kingdom, and we will watch Spice World and Good Burger (does anyone remember that movie?). Ahh, I can just see it now....

So, who wants to come? Party time!



confections&kisses,
Stephanie

Inspiration and Life

My mood as of late has been cast over with a dark shadow that I can't seem to shake away. It is a strange shift from my usual happy-go-lucky perspective, but I find myself relating to and being extremely inspired by all of the hauntingly ethereal photographs that I have been seeing. They are simple and beautiful, with a pinch of creepiness. I just really love the feeling that these give off.

This photograph is the definition of my current mood. Tragically romantic and slightly morose, with an old-world charm embracing it all. I would give anything to be there right now.

At first sight, this picture seems to be an illustration meant to accompany a children's fairytale. Yet there, in the window, peers a pair of creepy children. Things are indeed not always what they appear.

This makes me think of different periods of time. The first, on the left, appears to take place in modern times, and the second looks as if it could have been taken a decade ago in the same place. It really provokes me to wonder what was happening hundreds of years ago where I am standing now. It actually very strange to think about.

More creepy children. I love the sense of danger depicted here, and it is really just a beautiful photograph.

Tonight, on my way home from the bookstore a town over, I came across a band of three impossibly tiny kittens. They were living in a bush that was situated between the street and railroad tracks, and they were playing, pouncing upon each other, and looking way to cute. So, of course, I had to stop and see them. They couldn't have been more than a few weeks old and they were scarily frail and skinny. I went to the grocery store down the street and picked up two cans of fancy feast and a bottle of milk for them. They gobbled it all down like it was going out of style. My babies...

I don't even like cats, but I wanted to take them home so very badly. I really didn't know what to do, since they're basically wild and they were very frightened of me. We had to leave them, but I'm planning on going back tomorrow to make sure they are okay and I will probably call an animal shelter to come help. I don't know if a cat randomly gave birth, or if some heartless fool dumped them, but I already love and want them all. There was a black, white, and calico, and I named them Robber, Minky, and Bandit, respectively. Yes, I know, named them. Oy! I already have two little pups, but I fear that I am rapidly morphing into a crazy cat lady. Or animal lady. Or whatever.

So that is my life story for the day. I think it's time for sleep. I miss the kitties...



confections&kisses,
Stephanie

Monday, June 9, 2008

Object of Lust: Hervé Léger

The Hervé Léger bandage dress is favorite of Hollywood starlets, being as ubiquitous on the red carpet as a Mystic tan and highlights -- and it really isn't too hard to see why. The structured bandaging of this dress hugs curves and shapes them into perfect proportion, all the while flattering just about any body type. It will boost the assets of a petite girl, and yet shape and hold in any wobbly bits for curvier ladies. It is the sneakiest shapewear I have ever laid eyes on, and I find it to be rather magnificent.

This one is my absolute favorite. It is basic in hue, while the shimmering sequin finish achieves the perfect balance between classy and sassy. It is flashy without being overtly so, and it simply makes my heart go gasp.

The shade of this dress is completely beautiful. I love the black color blocking, placed flatteringly below the bust, and the curved-out hemline. It is painfully perfect for a cocktail party. Pair with heels and go.

If you want the benefits of the bandaging, but dread appearing too loudly sexy, this simple piece will fulfill your needs. Little black dresses are always classic, and this shape lends that little extra oomph. You could wear this frock nearly anywhere.

The cost for such a dress can't possibly be too low, and, alas, the prices range from $700 to over $2,000. I am majorly lusting here. If you are lucky enough to be able to afford one of these lovelies, you can find them all here, and you can consider me highly jealous. What I wouldn't do to get my little hands on this miracle garment. Ah, well, perhaps one day. Perhaps....



confections&kisses,
Stephanie

Digging: Leather Pants

Lately, I have been inexplicably drawn to a certain tight, shiny, rockstar-esque garment. Yes, you guess it: leather pants. I really have no idea where this recent spout of obsession came from, but I can't control the fantasies that have been occupying my mind. I can just imagine myself up on stage, rocking out, and becoming devastatingly sweaty all whilst in a skinny, jet black pair of these neat little trousers. There is just something about them that fascinates me. While they are highly inconvenient -- all that shimmying just to get them past your knees? yikes! -- there is something so daring and rebellious about them, which is immensely intriguing to a goody two-shoes such as myself.

Imagine my joy when I opened this month's Nylon magazine to see a bit on my beloved pants -- which, consequentially, only made me long for a pair that much more. They really wouldn't be of much use until fall arrives -- and I would definitely need to lose a little to fit into a pair the way that I would like -- so I think I will sit on it for a while. Maybe I could try some black American Apparel Nylon Tricot Leggings -- which are an easy cheat for leather pants -- to see how the look suits me. I am going to have to express my rebellious side somehow, though I hope it will be with my legs swathed in leather rather than, oh say a tattoo. Although I must say I have been considering trying one of those out as well....

Just kidding!

Or... am I?



confections&kisses,
Stephanie

The Days Ahead

So, I just finished Rumors -- the sequel to The Luxe, by Anna Godbersen -- last night. All I can say is that I cried. Like a baby. It was everything I expected and so much more. I was actually surprised by the ending, which is a very rare occurrence for me indeed. I can't wait for the next book! Eee! I have gone through five novels in the past month, and I'm slightly melancholy because none of my favorite books will be released until August. This streak will be ended by the next installment in the Twilight series, Breaking Dawn, by my beloved Stephenie Meyer It will be a big reward for such a long wait.

I suppose I won't have much time to read this summer, anyway. I seem to have a rather busy season ahead of me: Portland, Oregon during the first week of July for my cousin's wedding; my birthday (July 13th) is the week after that; the Western States Youth Gathering in Anaheim, CA from the end of July into August; and then hopefully New York in August as well. I am also considering an additional trip to L.A. somewhere in between it all. Phew! I am in fact looking forward to such an abounding summer since I usually don't have much to do. I think this will really be my season. The summer of me. That has quite a nice ring to it, no?

So what are your summer plans? It seems a lot of people have so much going on, even more than I do! It's sure to be fun, I can't wait =)



confections&kisses,
Stephanie

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Sweats, Dresses, and the Blurred Line

So, first off, I just have to say that this is the funniest thing I have ever seen. Hehe =)
I can bet most of us fashion-lovers have experienced a situation similar to this. In a world where most consider pajama pants "casual" and jeans "dressy", it can be difficult to express your style without feeling overdressed. We live in a comfort-conscious era, and it really bothers me sometimes. Don't get me wrong, I love getting comfy as much as anyone, but I honestly think that there is a time and place for that. Leave the fuzzy slippers at home, please. Oh, and unless you are jogging or off to the gym, the sweatpants too. Thanks. The things I see some people wearing leave me cold, bare, and wondering "Where has the world's creativity gone?". It seems the line has been severely blurred.

While I love classic-casual attire (and I practically live in jeans), I am so tired of these Holli-Crombie kids running around, thinking that they are just the most fashionable thing that has ever happened. Though I will admit that I once fell into this category -- with my first job even being at Hollister Co. -- I must say that I am way over that scene. My best guy friends both currently work at Hollister (which I suppose is okay for boys), but I long for something greater. Being the wallflower that I am, I find myself afraid to dress up a bit around most of my friends. God forbid I stand out, right? Most of the time it feels like I am completely surrounded by this casual world and it's sweatpants-wearing inhabitants. I think I may even be starting to drown a little. I can't wait for the day when I live in a big city, far from my little fashion-deprived suburbia.

I suppose I shouldn't be so afraid to express myself, since my philosophy is 'who cares?', but I still do feel slightly held back the majority of the time. Maybe I should just rebel. Maybe I will throw on a cocktail dress and heels for my next grocery store run. Or I could always take the dogs to the park whilst wearing a runway inspired, avant-garde ensemble. I'll be sure to get more than a few onlookers for that one! All I know is that I shouldn't be fearful of fashion. I need to learn to stand out a bit in this drab world. I do, after all, love the spotlight!

So does anyone else feel my pain? I would really love to hear different takes on this topic.



confections&kisses,
Stephanie

Friday, June 6, 2008

Inspiration

I am constantly talking about inspiration here at The Decadent Life, and I must say that I am inspired by almost everything. If I have one goal in life, it is to help people seek out the things that inspire them the most. Here is what inspires me:

Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette

Let them eat cake! (I know, I know, sorry. I just had to say it!) Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette is, without a doubt, the list-topper for inspiration. I have seen this movie far too many times to count, and I am way past obsessed with the pastry-deliciousness of the pastel colors, the ruffly frills, and the ultra-luxury of 18th century Versailles. This film is the definition of decadence. Those costumes! Those cakes! That hair! For lack of a better description, Marie Antoinette is nothing less than an eyegasm. It is an aesthetic treat all around, with confectionery style to spare. My 18th birthday party last year did revolve around a bit of a Marie theme, with pastel pink, turquoise, and yellow frosted cupcakes and a night topped off with a screening of the film. I love everything about Sofia Coppola's interpretation of this historical figure, and I can't help but to be positively inspired when it comes to Marie.

Gwen Stefani, circa. Love. Angel. Music. Baby
Gwen completely embodies the whimsical spirit that I live for. I have always admired her style and spunk (even way back in her Tragic Kingdom days), because she has always dressed in a way that was all her own. She is always reinventing herself, and yet after all of these years -- and styles -- that she has been through, she is still that same Gwen. She is fearless with what she wears, and that is incredibly inspiring to me. I love that she put this high fashion spin on Alice in Wonderland, because, as we know, I am obsessed. She has gotten some major slack for more than a few of her ensemble's -- and she can be extremely costumey-- but she wears it all in such an 'I don't care' kind of way. That is why I love her. I really believe that if you love something, it shouldn't matter. I also loved her in the Rich Girl video, for which, very sadly, I couldn't find any pictures that would do her justice. So instead I, um, decided to just go ahead and post the video =) Hope you don't mind!


I remember dancing around my living room like crazy when this video was first on TRL. It inspired me then and it's still inspiring me now. I just can't help but to move around and long to be a gyrating pirate swinging on an anchor... yes, I am definitely a dork. In all, Gwen embraces what she loves, and you've got to love that. She is a bit tomboy, a bit princess, and a million bits fashionista. In my eyes, Gwen has always been -- and will always be -- one of the greatest fashion icons.

I would have to say, some of my biggest and ever-changing inspiration comes from my fellow fashion bloggers. I visit maybe 20-30 blogs per day, and I am always finding new and exciting ones to read. I am constantly amazed by what people have to say, and it is inspiring to see that there is this enormous fashion-blog community that shares my dream. There is Gala, who is like your own personal life coach, fashion adviser, and inspirational cheerleader wrapped into one, cupcake-loving gal. There is Susie Bubble of Style Bubble, who has a style that I couldn't begin to emulate. It is completely unique to her, and I love that. Noel from Miss Couturable is a sophisticated teen who possesses great style and strong opinions, and who shares my love for pretty things. There's Connie from Pretty Legit, who's one of the best dressed -- and witty-- girls I've seen. Both she and the always interesting Casey from TeenFashionista are interning at Teen Vogue this summer -- be jealous. I could really go on and on here, but I will spare you. Just take a look at my blogroll and you will understand how inspiring these girls are.

So, what inspires you?


confections&kisses,
Stephanie

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Resort Roundup: Part 2

Resort collections continued:

Valentino
Valentino was all-around elegant. I still can't get over all of the gowns, especially the two featured here. I love the light, airy sleeves of the peach gown, and floaty ruffles of the pale, seafoam-green one make my heart skip beats. They are all absolutely stunning, if I do say so myself.

Versace
Versace had a mix of slightly militant looks and ultra-glam pieces. Those traffic-stopping, punchy hues are incredibly sexy. The almost-neon orange of the skirt and jacket ensemble is surprisingly wearable in such casual shapes. Goddess gowns are pretty much a staple at Versace, and that's why we love it.

Zac Posen
Zac Posen was perhaps my favorite of all. The collection is extremely wearable in every way, and it has some pretty gorgeous dresses. I love all of these here equally, because they all go with different occasions.The first is casual enough for class, yet polished enough for brunch. The second is perfect for nights on the town with its eye-catching sparkle and leg-baring hemline. The third is elegant and formal without being stuffy, and Empire dresses are flattering for everyone. I love anything that works on multiple occasions, and the fourth can be dressed up or down to fit your needs. I would be more than happy if this was all that my wardrobe consisted of. *dreams wistfully*

From Left: Rachel Roy, Tory Burch, Fendi, Douglas Hannant
These were kind of the miscellaneous ones that caught my eye. I really adore the casual appeal of Tory Burch, and that Fendi frock is to die for.

That about does it! You can view all of the collections here.

Now excuse me while I daydream of frolicking about in these marvelous outfits.



confections&kisses,
Stephanie

Resort Roundup: Part 1

In keeping with the resort theme of my last post, here is what I loved the most out of all of the collections:
Chanel
Chanel had its usual classy elegance. I really enjoyed these three looks, especially the dress in the middle. It is simple, but the flower appliqués add that extra touch. Chanel is always a favorite, and I wouldn't expect anything less.

Christian Dior
Ahh, good old Christian Dior. We can always count on him to put on a show, and that is exactly what he did with this collection. Perhaps the most visually stimulating of the shows, it was filled with vivid colors and presented a very youthful, fun vibe. There was an abundance of ethnic prints and breezy fabrics that I couldn't help but to drool over a bit. It doesn't hurt that the models hair and make-up looked impeccably glamorous.

Oscar de la Renta
Oh, Oscar, I am in heaven. There were far too many favorites to post, so I had to whittle my list down to these lovelies. I adore how the blue gown resembles foaming ocean waves, and the black lace cocktail dress in nothing short of amazing. With its tropical feel and classic elegance, this collection was well-rounded and cohesive . Bravo!

Stella McCartney
Stella McCartney was very natural and effortless, with gorgeously simple frocks and perfectly proportioned layered looks. I usually don't care for neutral tones, but Stella puts them together in such a way that makes my heart melt. A flower in the hair is all you need to complete this easy look.

More favorites to come in Part 2!



confections&kisses,
Stephanie

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Best Resort

I must say that I am seriously considering marriage to the Michael Kors Resort 2009 collection. It is painfully effortless with just the right amount of classy-casual. Tie-dye and lapis prints collide with retro cuts and classic shapes to give birth to something completely new and gorgeous. Here are my favorites of the bunch:
Can't you just imagine donning those fabulous swimsuits at an ultra-sophisticated pool party? I picture myself wearing one of the maxi-dresses or tie-dyed caftans to an evening beach-house soirée-- and sipping a fruity drink to match. I am especially drooling over the one-shouldered, belted turquoise dress. Its shape is polished and refined, while the print lends a carefree allure. In all, Michael Kors Resort 2009 is glamorously breezy and all-around preppy. Click here for the complete collection.



confections&kisses,
Stephanie

One Month Down


Joyeux Anniversaire, The Decadent Life! Today we are officially one month old. Can you believe it? My my, how old we are getting! Okay, okay, all joking aside, I have officially arrived at the one-month mark, and yes, I am just a wee bit excited about it. I have made it through the trial-and-error period (mostly) unscathed, and I feel that a bit of celebration is in order. You know, I never miss out on a chance for cupcakes! I would also like to say thank you to everyone who has supported me through this dorky little time, and I hope to inspire whoever I can through my daily musings. Yay!

So, who's down to bake?



confections&kisses,
Stephanie

Obsession

As I sit here eating my midnight PB&J sandwich and typing with sticky, strawberry fingers, I ponder what I can do to give The Decadent Life more structure. I have come to the conclusion that I actually hate structure, and therefore will have as little of it as possible! I have, however, decided to do some sort of weekly feature, or rather, Obsession. An obsession is a persistent preoccupation with an often unreasonable idea or feeling, and let's face it, we all obsess from time to time. Though, I do believe that my obsessions are far from unreasonable. I'm sure you will all agree that there is nothing yummier than a pretty little treat =)
Here is what I am currently going gaga over:
Being the avid Gossip Girl fan that I am, I have developed an unfaltering partiality for embellished headbands. This Pink Linen Flower Tarina Tarantino confection is positively obsession-worthy. It is soft and feminine with a girlish, shabby-chic allure, and is adorned with some of my favorite things: bows, flowers, and Swarovski crystals. The fact that it resembles a little cotton candy puff is just the cherry on top. It is also available in black, but I must say that I prefer the innocent, dainty look of this soft, pink treat. This obsession can be yours for $163. Delicious!



confections&kisses,
Stephanie

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Daily Word


I just finished The It Girl: Tempted, last night. It was only average in my opinion, with nothing too interesting taking place. Oh well. They can't all be winners, right? I am, however, desperately looking forward to picking up the just-released Luxe sequel, Rumors. There are few novels that I have enjoyed as much as The Luxe, so Rumors is sure to satisfy. This series is set in the Victorian era at the turn of the 19th century, and I entirely adore period pieces. Review of Rumors to come!


I am also highly anticipating the next MAC collection, Cool Heat. With it's breathtaking array of brilliant blue and minty green eyeshadows, Cool Heat sets my heart a-flutter. Also included are five new luscious Slimshine lipsticks and a new scent. I can't wait for this to hit stores! This collection really captures the essence of summer and epitomizes everything that I love about it. Cool Heat will be available on June 12th. Fun!



confections&kisses,
Stephanie

Monday, June 2, 2008

A Few of My Favorite Things

As I read through my blog, I realized, with shock and horror, that I have severely veered from the fashion path. While this is not specifically a fashion blog (I like to think it more a of a lifestyle thing), I do want to maintain a certain fashion-centric air to it all.
So, without further a do, here are some of the stylish confections that make my heart give out a little gasp:

I honestly don't have much to say about the clothes in the Miu Miu Fall/Winter 08 show, but the shoes are an entirely different story. 'Favorite' does not even begin to describe what designer Miuccia Prada is to me. She is inspirational and creates the most amazingly whimsical shoes I have ever seen. Both Prada and Miu Miu's Spring collections contained an abundance of fairytale pumps -- with which I am still utterly obsessed -- and this season is no different. I especially adore the pair on the upper right. I can't get over those shimmering ruby, black, and white sequins and the dainty little strap. And just look at that heel! It is chunky and yet completely elegant and graceful at the same time. Who new such a combination could work in such stunning harmony? I suppose it is no secret that I am a sucker for unique shoes. I just love that little extra something that sets these confections apart from the pack. Though it's true some may find them ugly, I can't get enough. Yum!
I love the look of a feminine, colorful, feather butterfly in the hair. You could pop this little guy into a poufy updo for an ethereal feel, or use it to clip the front pieces of your hair to the side for more of a statement. The point is to make it seem as if the butterfly just happened to land on your head and then decided to stay put. I love them in bright colors for a stand-out look, though you could also find glittery versions in a neutral tone to match your hair. You really can't go wrong with these gorgeous, fairy-like creatures!

Though summer has not even begun, I seem to be highly anticipating the months of fall and winter. Colder weather does allow for more creativity to be put into an ensemble, so I suppose that is what I am looking forward to most. I am dreaming of the days when I can pull on a pair of luxurious tights, stomp around in big, knee-high boots, and don an elegant, holiday-party frock. I crave the decadent plaid that was all over Ralph Lauren, the gorgeous full skirts seen at Etro, and the ladylike dresses paired with gloves from Lanvin. Sigh... I really hate to betray the season in which I was born, but how am I supposed to accessorize in this heat? I miss being bundled up, and tights certainly do not pair well with the summer sun. Autumn will be knocking on my door soon enough, and I can bet I will be missing the sunshine when that first winter chill hits me. Here's to never being satisfied! Ha!

This is about it for now, but I have made a vow to keep the content of this site up to par. As much as I know how you all enjoy my poetry (note the sarcasm!), it isn't what I want this blog to be about. Suggestions and comments are always welcome =)

Sometimes we all need to step back and really figure out what it is that we are doing, and what is it that we want to be doing. Life is ever changing, and that will always be reflected in the work that we do. I recently posted about the super-fun How to Wear... contest, by the amazing Gala Darling of iCiNG. Gala's winning picks --which were posted yesterday-- were met with outrage by many of her readers, and what was supposed to be a fun thing turned into criticism about the iCiNG blog in its entirety. Many complained that the content has changed and lost its integrity, but I really think that change is to always be expected. As humans, we grow and change, and of course that is going to come through in whatever it is that we do. I can sympathize with Gala, for the most part, because I think that it is impossible to please everyone all of the time.

I can only do my best here, and I want to keep a certain goal in mind at all times. I go through dry spells when nothing inspires me, and I suppose that is why fashion hasn't been such a big part here in my recent posts. There has been so much going on in my personal life, and it makes it hard to find inspiration because, honestly, I haven't been looking for it. This makes me sad, because my goal is to help the world find inspiration in everything. Also, I do not want to posts just for the sake of it, because the quality of a blog in general will noticeably decrease with uninspired rants. We need to feel passion for what we do, otherwise, what's the point?

It is amazing how such a simple revelation can lead to such deep pondering, not to mention such a monstrously long post! I don't, however, find that to be a bad thing. It is necessary for us to step back from time to time and look at the big picture. If you are feeling overwhelmed with life, talk about it! It's never good to keep stress bottled up inside, and I promise there will always be someone willing to listen. If you feel alone, need advice, or just want to vent, I'm always here. Don't forget it!



confections&kisses,
Stephanie

Burlesque

I have recently become infatuated with Burlesque. What is burlesque, you ask? Well, in case you have been living under a rock, burlesque is a theatrical genre developed in the 1840's which was largely comedic, satirical, and included striptease. The striptease part is what I have become hopelessly enamored with. It is much more "tease" than actual "strip", and I absolutely love the whole cabaret feel of this type of performance.


Burlesque seems to be a ragingly popular thing these days. Who hasn't heard of the lovely Dita von Teese, who has been crowned the Queen of Burlesque? I absolutely adore her retro style and the work that she does. And hello? The Pussycat Dolls? Duh! Let's not forget about the Gossip Girl episode --Victor/Victrola-- in which Blair gets up on stage and does a little striptease. Très sexy! I have been listening nonstop to the song that was playing during Blair's performance, Stripper by The Soho Dolls. It's basically amazing. Take a listen, I guarantee that it will inspire you to get up and strut your stuff!

I am contemplating taking a burlesque class. There actually seems to be an abundance of them around my area, so I figure, why not? Burlesque is far more classy than those pole dancing classes, though I will admit to have once been interested in those as well (Shh, don't tell!). This could be such a fun way to really get in touch with your body, feel hot, and get in shape at the same time. What more could you ask for? For more on the world of burlesque, check out the Burlesque Baby blog. Very interesting!

I might just give burlesque a try!



confections&kisses,
Stephanie

Sunday, June 1, 2008

More Poetry

I have been on a complete poetry high. I just can't get enough! I have filled two notebooks to the brim with lyrics and poetry since my band has formed, and I love going back and rereading it all. I still get inspired, make little changes, and sometimes I take a few songs and cram them into one awesome, super-song! I have been on a bit of an Alice in Wonderland kick as of recently, so the first few lines caught my eye for obvious reasons. Amusingly enough, I was first inspired when petting the bunny in my yard. This just came to me:

We fell into the rabbits hole
And out through a looking glass.
This wonderland is dust and sand,
The hour's come to pass.
We've waged our war and now we're torn apart.
I'm coming clean, but I can't seem to start.

My delicate love, you're frail as a child.
Youthful darling, you're eyes are shining wild.
You're the farthest thing from tender and mild.
You fall asleep wide open.
You know I want to come in.
So give me the key and maybe we'll be alright.

Slipping under your dark spell,
Your voodoo tastes so sweet.
The dizzy rush of your velvet touch.
I linger in defeat.
We've waged our war and now we're torn apart.
I'm falling faster, I don't know how to stop.

My delicate love, you're frail as a child.
Youthful darling, you're eyes are shining wild.
You're the farthest thing from tender and mild.
You fall asleep wide open.
You know I want to come in.
So give me the key and maybe we'll be alright.

This is designed to be somewhat of a back-and-forth dialogue between a girl and a boy. I have come up with part of a melody for this, but I am still working out some kinks.

Ahh, I just love this wonderful form of expression! It gives me a certain feeling like nothing else can. Words are insanely beautiful, and I love having the ability to string them together in ways that describe what I'm feeling. Sometimes I actually don't even know what I am trying to say, and that's okay. As long as I get it out there, right? I encourage you all to write, write, write! It always helps me decipher my emotions. You might be surprised at what you find!



confections&kisses,
Stephanie

The News

I simply can't get enough of my precious chick lit. Last night, with tears rolling down my cheeks, I finished Stephenie Meyer's The Host. I don't think I have ever been as emotionally involved with a book as I have been with this one. It was beautifully written and constructed, and I know this story will stay with me for years to come. I was deeply touched and moved, and I couldn't have asked for more from a novel.

I also finished up the new Pretty Little Liars book, Unbelieveable, which was a considerably lighter read than The Host. It was, nevertheless, enjoyable. I picked up the new It Girl novel, Tempted, today, and I am about halfway through. It is pretty delicious so far. Gotta love that chick lit!

On a somber note, the legendary, indescribable Yves Saint Laurent has passed away today at the age of 71. He was one of the most talented, influential, and simply extraordinary designers of this century, and I know we will all mourn his loss. Saint Laurent changed the rules of fashion, creating pantsuits for women and believing that "fashion was not only supposed to make women beautiful, but to reassure them, to give them confidence, to allow them to come to terms with themselves." My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends, and to all in the fashion industry. You have deeply touched our lives, M. Saint Laurent, and you will be dearly missed.



confection&kisses,
Stephanie