geek style · shoppin'

Boots Boots Boots

A few people have asked me about the boots I wore in yesterday’s post, I even helped a friend locate a pair online! In case anyone else is interested in where to get a pair, I shall tell you. 🙂

The  boots are by Blowfish (style is called Hester) and I bought them at Bakers during the fall. They’re on sale for $48 on Blowfish’s website and also at Zappos for $59.90. Sizing and color is limited at Zappos — they only have black, grey, and grey with a sherpa trim, and if you’re over a US size 8.5 you’re out of luck. Sorry! The dark brown ones I have aren’t available on Blowfish, but they still have black, grey, and a whiskey color with sherpa trim:

[photo courtesy of Blowfish]

There are more sizes available in the grey and whiskey boots.

I’m not trying to endorse Blowfish, but I think their shoes are awesome! I have 3 pairs of shoes and they all fit my wide-set feet just fine. And I especially love them for making a pair of boots I was able to get my voluptuous calves into. My fellow big-calved ladies share my pain about how hard it is to find a decent pair of boots that’ll comfortably go over my calves! If these fit me, I’m sure they’ll fit you too.

Happy shopping everyone!

bloop · geek style

Sh!tty Sh!tty Bang Bangs

Happy Friday the 13th everyone! I’m not a complete believer in thinking that this day is filled with bad luck. I think it’s only coincidence that I have misplaced my stylist’s business card because I so badly need to get my bangs trimmed. I could do it myself, but I’d rather not. I’ve done it before in the past and I totally butchered them and I’m rather traumatized by it. Tomorrow I’m taking professional photos in my cap and gown and my bangs are at the point where they poke at my eyes, and the cap pushes them further down into eyeball territory. I normally don’t mind rocking the side-swept look for a bit, except now you can see the hormonal constellation that has magically appeared on the exposed part of my  forehead. Actually, my hormones aren’t to blame for my pimples, stress is. I hardly ever breakout, but when I do it’s because I’m stressed the hell out, and then I panic when I see more than one pimple, which only adds onto the stress.

What am I stressing about now? Well…

  • I have pimples all up on my forehead and the side of my nose
  • I’m worried they’ll show up in my pictures
  • My bangs are shitty
  • I’m worried the cap will make them look shittier
  • I’m worried that I won’t be able to get extra tickets for whoever else wants to go to my commencement ceremony
  • I don’t know where the list of family contact info is so I can’t send out my grad announcements
  • Other things I’d rather not admit here

I’m just complicated like that.

Yesterday at Target I discovered Neutrogena’s Oil Free Acne Stress Control line. I stuck the toner, face wash, and cream into my cart without even reading the labels. I swear by Neutrogena; I knew right away that that line was made just for me! I’m already seeing a difference after 2 uses. Woo!

Target is amazing, you can find almost anything there. If I could only shop at one store for the rest of my life, it would be Target. My closet is 50% Target, 40% H&M, and 10% random stuff. I’m not going anywhere today, but I felt like wearing “outside clothes” rather than lounging around in my pajamas while I work (I telecommute), and in typical Nina fashion, I threw on a dress from Target. Every dress I’m wearing in my posts so far are from Target. I swear to Mossimo I have other things, I just love Target a lot, okay? I got my ring at Target too. Isn’t it rad? I bought it not because I thought it was pretty, but because it reminded me a of mage portal from World of Warcraft. Haha! Oh, I miss that game (sort of).

outfit details:

  • cardigan: H&M
  • dress: Target
  • harmonica necklace: from TJ Maxx
  • ring: Target
  • shoes: Blowfish
geek style · shoppin'

Saddle up

I’ve been wanting a pair of saddle shoes or oxfords for the past I-don’t-know-how-many-months. I can’t seem to win in this department — I either find a pair that fit, but are too expensive (and don’t seem worth it because they look like they’ll tear my feet apart), or they’re the right price but they don’t have my size or the color that I want. RUGH. Shopping should never be this frustrating!

Even the first pair of saddle shoes I got were a bitch. I was 4 years old and I had been eyeing a pair at Stride Rite for the longest time. I wanted so badly to look like a 50’s girl with a poodle skirt and saddle shoes. I’ve never owned a poodle skirt though, I guess I figured the shoes would come first and then the skirt. Never happened. Anyhow, one day, Auntie Nelly and Papang (my grandpa) took me after school to get a pair. And whaddya know, they didn’t have my size. The woman that worked there gave me a pink & white pair that were a size smaller than mine. It was a really tight fit — I remember my foot was sort of puffing at the top, but I didn’t care. I was determined to leave with new shoes upon my feet. “Does it fit you, sweetie?” she asked. I said it did. Auntie Nelly said it looked too tight. “It’s fine!” I lied protested. So I got my saddle shoes, and though I walked in pain, my 4 year old self knew she was hot shit.

I guess that’s when I became a woman.

By the by, I always wondered what the difference between saddle shoes and oxfords were because they pretty much look the same, right? I did some “research,” and by “research” I mean I typed “difference between oxfords and saddle shoes” into Google, and it said that saddle shoes are plain at the toe while oxfords have designs throughout the entire shoe. So there you go. Cue the “The More You Know” shooting star.

So last week when I went to San Francisco, I found a beautiful pair of patent black & white Bass saddle shoe heels, pictured above. I was really tempted to try them on, but they were $108.95. Just typing the price makes my heart hurt. That’s like 11 hours worth of my paycheck. So then I walked into Bloomingdales for reasons that escape me because the only thing I can truly afford to buy there is one of their reusable brown bags (I think they’re around $4), and then I saw these gorgeous brown saddle shoe/boot hybrid thingies, also by Bass. I immediately started thinking of all the things I could wear with them — my white lace dress with a brown cardigan, a pink dress, a blue dress, basically any dress that’s hanging in my closet. It was on sale for $76 and my mom said I should try them on since the price was pretty decent. Have my first big splurge with my paycheck be on a pair of boots from Bloomies? Why the hell not! I asked one of the workers if I could try the boots and a pair of brown & green saddle shoes on, but alas. They did not have my size in either shoe!

Remember that blog post I put up about how sometimes things just don’t go your way? Yeah, this happened on that day. It was a bad day. At least I still have the internet as an option. <– there’s a silver lining to everything.

geek style · out & about

Chateau Cronie

Yesterday was quite eventful as I FINALLY got to see Agent Ribbons live at Harlow’s in Sacramento! I even dolled up a bit for the occasion; I usually like doing the jeans-n-cardigan thing for shows, but not for this one! I totally forgot to put nylons on though, so my legs were like fleshy popsicles by the end of the night. Also, the photo above marks my first legit self-portrait. Huzzah for tripods and my mother’s fancy SLR with the self-timer button! They make life so much easier.

In case you’re wondering who the frak Agent Ribbons are, I shall give you a primer: they’re an indie duo-turned trio-turned duo again from Sacramento, but are now based in Austin, TX ,whose sound has been described as [from what I’ve read in random reviews] a mix of vaudeville, baroque, 60’s garage rock, and cabaret. One of the songs off their album Chateau Crone was featured on The Vampire Diaries not too long ago, and it’s actually available on Amazon for FREE. Mod Cloth even sells a dress that’s named after them.

About 4 years ago, my late friend Jim told me about them because he had recorded and mixed most of the songs on On Time Travel and Romance, which is brilliant by the way. “Call Me Margaret” was the default song on his MySpace page and he said to check it out. So I did, and I fell in love. Whenever I make mix CDs for friends, I include at least one or two of their songs on them. Just trying to spread the gospel of Agent Ribbons, y’know? I actually got to talk to Natalie (lead singer/guitarist) for a bit before the show and she was so effing sweet despite the fact that I was awkward. I hate meeting people I admire, any sort of social skills I have (and I don’t have a whole lot to begin with) completely go away. Other people who have experienced my awkwardness: Sara Bareilles, Greg Laswell, and Nathan Fillion. I hope I never meet John Krasinski.

I shall leave you all with a video I took at last night’s show:

PS: Check out On Time Travel and Romance and Chateau Crone and thank me later. 😉

outfit details:

  • cardigan: H&M
  • dress/belt: Target
  • shoes: Charles Albert
  • necklace: thrifted
  • glasses: Tilly’s
bloop · geek style

Elementary, my dear Watson

I woke up this morning thinking, “I don’t have sh!t to do, it’s Sunday!” Then I realized that it was not, in fact, Sunday, but Monday. BLUGH. But then I remembered that it was the 9th, and I read somewhere that the BBC’s Sherlock would be available on Netflix’s instant queue, so then I was like YAAAAAY!!! I’ve seen lots of stuff about Sherlock on the interwebz, and a couple of friends have been telling me I must watch it because it is brilliant and Steven Moffat wrote it, and anything Steven Moffat does is gold. He’s the head writer of Doctor Who by the way, which is my favorite show (in case you didn’t know). After I excitedly clicked the “add to queue” button, I decided that I wanted to wear something British-y, or something that looked like I was gonna go for tea and crumpets. I even found my gray Harrod’s purse that I bought when I went to London 10 years ago to add some oomph to the British factor.

After our stint at SPD, Jen and I headed back to our Alma Mater to pick up caps and gowns for our graduation ceremony which will occur on the 21st.  I can’t believe it’s coming up so soon! I also can’t believe how hideous the traditional graduation garments are. Who designed them?! <– something to Google later.

It’s just not flattering. At. All.

Once I tried the robe on, my womanly figure disappeared and I just looked like a bloated eggplant. However, my mind is put at ease knowing that every other grad is going to look just as ridiculous as me.

outfit details:

  • cardigan: H&M
  • dress/belt/tights: Target
  • necklace: thrifted
  • ring: from a vendor at SFSU
  • bag: Harrod’s
  • shoes: Blowfish
geek style · out & about

Jellicle what?

Sometimes things don’t go the way you expect them to.

Here are two things that went awry yesterday:

  1. I saw Cats for the first time and was pretty disappointed.
  2. My ensemble of the day looked cute in the mirror, but I ended up looking like a hot mess anyway.

I’ve heard nothing but good things about Cats — it had an 18-year run on Broadway, a 21-year run in London’s West End, and won the 1982 Tony for Best New Musical. And when I was in the fifth grade, this girl in my class got to go to New York for spring break and came back to school wearing a Cats shirt. She couldn’t stop gushing about how amazing the show was, and since I already liked “Memories” I figured I’d probably like Cats as a whole too. But after watching it last night, I’m just wondering what the big effing deal is. Why does everyone love this musical so damn much??? I WANT TO KNOW! Unlike other shows I’ve seen, Cats doesn’t have any dialog — it’s all singing and dancing, and that left me feeling horribly confused throughout the whole show because I had no idea what was going on plot-wise. I still don’t know what the hell a “Jellicle Cat” is even though they had a song that explained it. AH! I’m wondering if I would’ve enjoyed it better if I Wikapedia’d the synopsis before I watched it…? Eh. I don’t know. I guess my expectations were just really high. Even though I didn’t enjoy it that much, I don’t want to discredit the cast. They all sang and cut a rug very well. I’d also like to point out that the actors looked like effeminate Thundercats. Sorry if that sounds offensive, but I don’t know how else to put it. One of the them looked just like Tygra, I kid you not! During the scene with the pirates, I was thinking, “Please say, ‘THUNDERCATS HOOOOOOOOO. Please!'” Of course it didn’t happen. :/

I don’t know where my outfit went wrong. I thought I looked cute when I looked in the mirror, but then I asked my mom to take a picture of me for this blog, and the outcome was ghastly! I’m just going to blame my hair. I was too lazy to do the blow dry and straighten/curl hair thing, plus I have recently discovered that my hair is super wavy when I let it air dry without brushing it. But it got a bit funky, so I put it up in order to tame it. Ugh.

We all have our down days — yesterday was one of mine. But I have hope for tomorrow for there will be a new episode of Doctor Who!

outfit details:

  • jacket: Mossimo (Target)
  • dress: Tucker for Target
  • purse: M. Rossetti
  • sunglasses: coach
geek style

Happy Stars Wars Day!

May 4 is considered a holiday amongst all Star Wars fans. Last year, I decided to celebrate by wearing my fancy Star Wars shirt from H&M. And yes, that is a Stitch as Yoda action figure. Bought him at Disneyland I did.

In 2010, Ashley Eckstein, the voice of Ahsoka Tano in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, along with The Araca group founded Her Universe — a line of geek chic merchandise for scifi fangirls. Right now their duds are solely Star Wars related, but soon they’ll have merch from SyFy shows.

I definitely plan on hitting up their booth at Comic Con this year! I am all about adding nerd gear to my wardrobe. My top picks are the Padme Nouveau shirt and the Boba Fett undie set:

Check out Her Universe for more Star Wars lady wear, and May the 4th be with you. 🙂

out & about

Bizzurkeley

Every Monday I head to Berkeley, or as I like to call it Bizzurekely, to volunteer at Small Press Distribution [SPD] with my friend Jen. SPD is a literary arts non-profit organization that’s dedicated to distributing independently published literature to all walks of the literary community — major book stores like Barnes & Noble to mom & pop shops to schools to libraries across the globe (or at least as far as Canada to my knowledge). Tasks that I’ve done have been running around the warehouse picking orders, reshelving books, sticking barcodes on books without bardcodes, folding invoices, and taking misplaced books off shelves.

I love, love, love doing anything that involves me wandering around the warehouse, because while I’m doing stuff I get to browse through all the inventory. And I’ve actually seen a couple books published by some of my professors, and one by the TA I had in my Folk Storytelling & Lit. class last year. It gives me hope to see familiar names on the shelves since I aim to publish a book of my short stories one day. Of course, I need to actually sit down and write them in order for that to happen. *sigh* I am so creatively constipated. My mind can’t function when it comes to making up stories nowadays, which is quite frustrating. I need more drama in my life to inspire me.

Anyway, today I found a psychology book called Harry Potter Power. It shows how the universal themes in Harry Potter can make your life “more positive and healthy and your lifestyle more sustainable.” Awesome, right?! I skimmed through it, and though I didn’t think the writing was completely stellar, I appreciated the concept. HARRY POTTER 4 EVER.

Outfit details:

  • sunglasses: Coach
  • cardigan: Target
  • camisole: Billabong
  • pants: Don’t recall, but they’re too big on me
  • shoes: Bearpaw
  • bag: Member’s Only
  • necklace: 2Dy4
geek style · shoppin'

Whozits and Whatzits galore

I think the reason why The Little Mermaid is one of my favorite movies is because I have a lot in common with Ariel — particularly the fact that we both have an affinity for collecting crap stuff. As a kid, my mom would take me to flea markets, antique/thrift stores, and estate sales nearly every weekend (we still go every now and then). I went through a bunch of collecting phases: Disney/DC Comics toys, poodle stuff, deer figurines, vintage compacts, costume jewelry… and so and on so forth. When I was in high school, we started a tradition of going to the Lodi Street Faire every May and October, but since I moved to Daly City 2 years ago, I’ve missed quite a few. But since I moved back, I got to go today. HUZZAH! I love seeing all the trinkets that vendors bring with them. You never know what you’re going to find — like a pipe with a pirate’s face carved into it.

I’d like to think that I’m a bit of a pro when it comes to flea markets and street faires, so here are my 10 tips for shopping at flea markets and street faires:

  1. Carry smaller bills (or cash in general): It helps to have single dollar bills and fives on your person. Vendors/sellers appreciate it oh-so-much when you give them exact change.
  2. Don’t be afraid to negotiate: My mom is a pro at negotiating! She usually asks the seller if they can knock a couple dollars off. Some are willing to offer a better price, while others are firm on how much they want. If an item is a bit busted, see if you can get it at a lower price. It doesn’t hurt to ask.
  3. Inspect before buying: A majority of things at flea markets and street faires are secondhand items – I don’t understand why people sell new things at those types of places, but alas. Take a good look at the merchandise – with jewelry, make sure there aren’t any stones or beads missing, if the clasp works, etc. With purses, make sure there aren’t any holes. You get the idea. If you feel that you can repair, or don’t care that an item has some flaws, and you want, go for it.
  4. If you’re not sure, walk away: I’ve seen so many things that I wanted, but never fell in love with on the spot. If I wasn’t sure, I’d walk away and think about it, and I’d tell myself, “If I don’t want, fine. If I do want it, I’ll get it, but if it’s not there when I get back, then it wasn’t meant to be.”
  5. If you are sure, BUY IT!: If you are 110% sure that you want something, go for it. If you walk away and find yourself pining for something you just saw, thinking of all the things you could do with it, and whatnot, for the love of God just get it! Y’know… if you feel that you can afford it.
  6. Poker Face: My mom always told me to not look too excited when I find something I REALLY like, because the seller may see how much I want what they’re selling and hike the price up. Do they really do that? I don’t know for sure, but wear that Poker Face.
  7. Give yourself a budget: It helps to give yourself a budget so you don’t go overboard. If you’re looking for certain things, think about how much you’re willing to spend. Be realistic.
  8. Be reasonable: Try and think about how you’re going to use the item you’re interested in buying. Do you need it that bad? Are you going to use it a lot? Is it going to collect dust? Is it worth that much? Is there room for it? Also, if something is set at a good price, it doesn’t mean you have to buy it. I have gone down that road one too many times, and I’m stuck with a bunch of things I don’t want or use! Buyer’s remorse is horrible.
  9. Have an idea of what you’re looking for: Going into the flea market without a game plan is like a gladiator stepping into the arena without a battle strategy. I like to shop with purpose. I find that it helps if you have an idea of what you want to buy. I’m always on the lookout for jewelry.
  10. Get there early: Even though events like street faires say they start at a certain time, it doesn’t mean you have to go right when it officially starts. Vendors have to get there early to set up. Getting there early also means you have first dibs on the merchandise, and chances of getting good deals are high. Plus, there aren’t any large crowds so you don’t have to wiggle your way in and out.

My finds:
  • Audrey Hepburn book: $5 (couldn’t pass it up!)
  • gold ring w/orange stone: $1
  • cameo pin: $5
  • necklace: $26
The necklace is a little “amour-o-meter” by 2Dy4 and you can have the arrow point at different sayings in French (on the front) and English (on the back): Je t’amie [I love you], Un peu [A little], Beaucoup [Very much], Passionement [Madly], Pas du tout [Not at all].
Outfit details:
  • jacket: Don’t recall, but I got it at Ross
  • top: Forever 21
  • jeggings: H&M
  • boots: Charles Albert
  • purse: M. Rossetti