Tuesday, July 31, 2012

#36 - Something Amazing (2)

I haven't done a Something Amazing post in a really long time (try almost a year ago today!), but I'm always discovering incredible things online. I really appreciate the opportunity to share some of my treasures with you. A few of my favorite blogs like Little Chief Honey Bee and MiniPenny write similar entries and I get a lot of inspiration and ideas from them. Leave some comments and let me know what you were diggin' the most.

These amazing iPhone covers from Zero Gravity via Etsy. Makes me wanna upgrade from my Android. They also have awesome laptop and iPad covers too.

This incredible denim vest! It's like Froot Loops meets stegosaurus meets punk rock. No idea where it came from or who made it. If anyone has the artist/designer, let me know and I'll credit.

"It offered, quite simply, the same tripe that Hollywood has always pushed on women—that their sexual desires are only acceptable when they’re safely tethered to a narrative of true, monogamous love."

This incredible article from Storyboard about the movie Magic Mike, and how it enforces antiquated societal laws about women and their sexuality.

If you're a huge Batman nerd like I am, you will love this video. It's an eerie piece of proof that Heath Ledger's voice as the Joker was inspired by Tom Waits. Fast forward to about 2:15 and you'll see the resemblance. Crazy!

This really simple ombre DIY tutorial. I need to find some white denim and then try it out. Really simple directions that are easy to follow.

This stunning statement necklace from Seraphim in Australia, which makes accessories and clothing for women sizes AU18-26. Combines the Aztec and bib necklace trend in one. Love it! When I get my first paycheck, I know I'm gonna hit this up. And I believe the model is also the designer. Isn't she beautiful?

These unbelievable shoes from J Crew. When did J Crew get so fun and funky? Wish an unlimited budget, all of these shoes would be mine! Light neon green suede pumps? SWOON. And those glitter "psychedelic" oxfords by Creatures of the Wind are to die for.

And this concludes today's episode of Something Amazing! If you know something that should be posted on my next episode, please leave it in the comments box! My first day of work is tomorrow and I am so crazy excited and nervous. Can't wait to meet everyone and get started. Happy Hump Day, y'all!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

#35 Re-Education

Thank you to everyone for your support for what will be called "fat shaming incident #87"-- sadly this is not the first time this has happened to me. But after having a good sleep on it, I am still feeling really proud that I called to let this woman know how I felt. Not just a few minutes after my blog was posted, I received two phone calls from this woman and immediately my mind went to the worst possible scenario. Did she call to cuss me out? To tell me how fat I am? I was a little bit nervous to listen to the voicemails.

To my pleasant surprise, she left two voicemails apologizing. She said she never meant to make me feel like I needed to lose weight and expressed her guilt about the anger she'd caused me. She was actually really sweet. We even texted back and forth and talked a little about our mutual body issues-- what a strange but serendipitous interaction with a stranger. And I know next time, she'll think twice before she hands out her card to a proud curvaceous woman. It's true-- you can never really educate or expand someone's mind if you're not willing to express your thoughts, feelings, and opinions, albeit politely.

Below is what I wore last night. I'm especially excited to show you my new glasses, also bought from Fabulous Fanny's in the East Village. I'm kind of a hater and don't want to share my cool glasses secret with anyone, but... you can buy some of their frames online. ACK. Ok. Secret is out. There are so many hot bloggers that need to share their amazing glasses secrets, too! Hint hint. They're a little expensive, but they're really well made and have some frames that are really flattering on wider faces like mine.

I love the amber and clear! Just clear alone didn't look right on me.

The amber is almost the exact same color as my hair!

Top part of my outfit. Apartment is still in "just moved in" status one month later. Yikes!

Bottom half. LOVE the stripes.

Really old Sam Edelman shoes that have been doctored a little.

A pretty crapstastic picture of my necklace! Doesn't do it justice!

I love this place!

DRESS Striped Black & Tan Maxi Dress, Target | BELT Braided Cognac Stretchy Belt, Target | NECKLACE Bejeweled Elephant Pendant, Forever 21 | SHOES Rhinestone Leather Flats, Sam Edelman

Friday, July 27, 2012

#34 Standing Up to Fat Shaming

My hands are still shaking angrily a little as I write this, dear reader. But I hope that you will read my brief story and share it with others, to perhaps inspire more beautiful women to stand up to fat shaming.

I was at the grocery store tonight, and a woman in front of me, after commenting on my selection of granola bars, turned around and offered me her card, telling me that she was a personal trainer and I could call her any time. This small, but presumptuous action implies that she 1) thinks I'm fat, 2) is outwardly telling me I'm fat, 3) thinks there is something wrong with my body that should be fixed 4) assumes that I don't take care of my body or work out/already have a personal trainer, and 5) that she would be "willing" to be the one to fix my body. Really? I mean-- REALLY? I'm a teacher, so does that mean every time I meet someone stupid I can hand them my card and offer them an education to fix their mind?

I politely took the card without a word. Then, my forehead started burning, and I felt the anger and sadly, the shame, come rushing, blood red, to the front of my face. I didn't say a word, but as I walked out of the store, bags in hand, I fumbled to find the card she had given me and called the number on the phone. Straight to voicemail. But I left a message:

"My name is Sarah and I just met you at the grocery store. Thanks for your card, but I'm going to politely decline. Instead, I want to give you some constructive feedback. Offering me personal training when you don't even know me is offensive and implies there's something wrong with my body. I want you to understand that just because my body doesn't look like how YOU think it should look, doesn't mean that there's anything wrong with it or that you have the right to judge my body or offer me ways to 'fix' myself. It's offensive and presumptuous to assume that I need or want personal training, and although it might be hard for you to understand, I actually am quite happy with the way my body looks. Just because I'm not a size 4, doesn't mean I'm not beautiful, and doesn't mean I'm not healthy or content with the way I am. I wish you all the best with your personal training career, and I hope this feedback is helpful for you." *Click*

I'm learning to love my body and I won't let someone shame me into feeling like there's something wrong with it. Those kinds of remarks trigger so many emotions in me-- shame, anger, rage, sadness, defeat. But I won't let someone shame me anymore. It took a lot of courage to call her, but I'm glad I did, and I hope that she won't continue shaming others because they don't fit her cookie cutter model of what beautiful is. Please share/reblog my small story with others so that we can be reminded that we are beautiful and together, we can stand up against fat shaming. I never would have or could have done this without the inspiration of the beautiful fatshionable women of the blogosphere. Thank you to all of you who continue blogging. You inspire me to love my self, and to stand up for what's right.

Monday, July 23, 2012

#33 Amagansett, East Hampton

Happy Monday, dear readers! I was lucky enough this weekend to spend some time at a family friend's beautiful home in Amagansett, which is an area of East Hampton, New York. It was certainly a luxurious and relaxing experience and I was so grateful for the opportunity to see this area of New York which I have heard so much about.

My friend Ellie, my brother and his fiancee, and I all took a train from Penn Station on Saturday morning and spent the day at the beach with my family, grilling out at the patio, and relaxing together. Ellie and I were even able to get a quick pedicure nearby-- I am now the proud owner of some royal blue toes! The next morning we spent some time in the pool and sadly bid adieu to our generous family friend and his beautiful home. Of course, I couldn't spend the entire weekend without capturing the beauty and charm of this place on film.

We ate lunch at a place called, well, "Lunch."

My tasty tuna roll. For some reason, I'm not a huge fan of lobster.

A beautiful hibiscus flower.

A view from the road in Amagansett.

You can see the ocean from our family friend's patio.

The lovely lower deck, hot tub, and pool.

The outdoor dinner table!

The pool is outside, but is also halfway underneath a sun roof. So perfect.

Make-up free in the sunshine!

Trying to look fierce...

DRESS Braided Strap Orange Maxi Dress, Lane Bryant | SHOES Black Tassel Flat Sandals, H&M

A simple outfit for a simple day of relaxation. Perfection! In retrospect, I would have accessorized a lot more with this really bright orange dress, but the heat makes my skin react from cheap jewelry, which sadly is most of the jewelry I own. Does anyone know of any good places to get inexpensive jewelry that's good for sensitive skin?

If you ever have the opportunity to go to the Hamptons, even just for 24 hours like I did, I highly recommend it. I hope someday to be back, and also to head even further east, the most eastern point of the USA: Montauk. Of course, one of my favorite parts of the trip was the conductor of our train who announced the Montauk stop with the most perfect New York/Brooklyn accent. So far, I am loving NYC so much-- thank you to everyone who has been so supportive of my move!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

#32 Ze Zaftig Explores I: St. John The Divine & East Village

Because I'm doing so much exploring and photography, I wanted to take a break away from fashion for a moment to share some of my new life with you in a photoblog series that I am going to call "Ze Zaftig Explores!" Moving to New York has really breathed new life into me and I'm constantly blown away by all the things I'm able to see and do during my time here. In this series, I'll share a handful of photos with captions so you can see what I'm up to!

This is my brownstone. It's such a beautiful place!

My neighbor brownstones.

Definitely on my top 10 of reasons why I love Harlem: the graffiti!

Morningside Park/Pond near Columbia. Beautiful little oasis.

I visited St. John The Divine, the cathedral-- one of the biggest in the world!

My absolute favorite statue in the entire cathedral.

One of the smaller rooms for worship in the cathedral.

A peaceful sanctuary behind the cathedral, called the Bible Gardens.

No big deal-- peacocks just hang out in garden. Really tame peacocks.

Such a beautiful bird!

Some kind of storage or garbage block mural. Art is everywhere. This was in the East Village.

More in the East Village.

I love these multi-colored fire escapes on the of the building on 4th St in the East Village.

Wow: the juxtaposition of her facial express with the sad pile of clothes underneath her.

INCREDIBLE vegetarian samosas at Pukk in the East Village! Made with fake duck.

Couldn't get a clear shot of my hugely amazing drink, but this is a great view of the restaurant's decor.

My green curry with tofu that I am desperate to recreate.

More of the inside. Look at those tiled booths and tables!

A mannequin on the sidewalk in the East Village. Totally normal for a Monday night.

Indian/Bangladeshi restaurant, lit up like a Christmas tree.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

#31 - Bittersweet

While I wait for a tripod to take outfit pics, I thought I'd show you an old outfit from last summer from my dad's wedding. My beautiful mother passed away from colon cancer in March of 2008 and it's hard to articulate how much her death has affected me. With the pain and sorrow of her loss also came with the joy that my father found love again and is now happily married. It means a lot to me that he has someone to spend his time with and they are always jet setting around the country (and the world), trying new things, staying healthy and active, and enjoying life. These kinds of things are always so bittersweet.

DRESS Evie Dress in Dusty Shale (on sale for $169 from $225), J Crew| SHOES Glitter Flats, J Crew | NECKLACE Large Charm Necklace, Anthropologie

On a lighter note, a friend of a friend last night said I resembled hipster Ariel. I'm going to take that as a compliment! It's a pretty funny internet meme-- if you want to see more, just Google it. The Evie Dress is beautiful and perfect for weddings and other outdoor/daytime occasions, or as bridesmaid dresses if you're planning a wedding. They come in a billion beautiful colors (I wish I had the one in spiced wine or matisse blue)! Goes up to size 20. However, I don't recommend getting glitter shoes from J Crew. The glitter fell off almost completely in about 4-5 months which is ridiculous after paying the hefty price tag.

I thought I'd include two photos of my wonderful mother. I've been told that I look a lot like her and her sister Ruth and they were two incredibly beautiful women. Miss you, Mom. <3

My mom and dad.

On the right, in the orange dress.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

#30 - Welcome to Harlem

I officially moved to Harlem on July 2 (then had to go back to Cleveland for a family reunion) and in the approximately 10 days I've lived here, I just am so amazed by this city and by my neighborhood. Harlem is a beautiful, vibrant place, and deserves SO much more credit than it is given. The people here have been so welcoming and kind to me in every possible way. I'm so grateful to have the opportunity to be a part of this community. I can't wait to start work and get to meet my students in about two short months!

Moving to NYC from Ohio has been quite a lifestyle change. I'm slowly feeling myself turning into an authentic New Yorker (annoyed by tourists, figuring out how not to fall on the Subway, running in heels/wedges to catch a train) and there are some things that have been hard to get used to-- no driving, no public restrooms, and no large sodas! Damn you, Bloomberg. However, there are so many things that I have always loved and am growing to love more and more. Walking everywhere is certainly not convenient, but I'm so amazed by what I see. The subway, too. I get to listen to music now and chill (road-rage free!), I get to be physically active nearly every moment of every day (my body is rejecting it but, soon I'll be used to it!). And the fashion! I'm trying not to be that creepy weirdo staring all slack-jawed at people on the subway, but I'm so inspired by what all different people of all different shapes, sizes, colors, and ages are rocking every single day. I can't help but make mental notes when I see a unique piece, or an accessory worn a certain way, or a color combination that I've never thought of before. It's been a little bit lonely sometimes (not a ton of close friends here... yet) but I have to say that I'm utterly inspired and awed by being here.

I hope to get a tripod and a remote soon so I can take some real outfit pictures, especially while I'm exploring, but I hope these cell phone pics will do for now!

DRESS Black Silk Ruffle Wrap Dress, Banana Republic| SHOES All Caps Wedges, Jeffrey Campbell | BAG Nickoley, ALDO (on sale for $32!)

I have to pat myself on the back-- er, head-- for what I would like to say was a phenomenal hair day! This dress is my go-to dress when I want to look classy and fierce. You can't see the ruffles too well in the cell phone pics (my bad!), but they add a very feminine touch to this classic silhouette. It's also very "flattering" for every body type, if you're into that kind of thing. BR is definitely a place I like to shop for work-to-evening kind of looks (and they go up to a size 18/20). The bag is my dream-- a pretty classy color-blocked bag that is HUGE. It fits my 13" laptop and pretty much everything and anything else, and still zips!

I was wandering around Soho yesterday, checking out some swanky places on and off of Prince Street, doing a little furniture browsing in the beautiful Room & Board on Wooster. I popped in to the Miu Miu store inspired by the wonderful Nicolette Mason and was blown away by the shoes and sunglasses. Maybe after I receive my first paycheck I'll blow a good chunk of it on these absolutely mind-blowing sunglasses:
If you're gonna live in NYC, you gotta look the part! More adventures forthcoming...