Happy 2010

"everything is new" from YOU ARE REMARKABLE

"new year: remember it’s never too late for new beginnings. shed the weight that burdens your shoulders and go boldly forth into this new day, into this new year. tomorrow is yours; make of it what you will. the future is yours. tell the world what your future will hold, never the opposite. you are the master of your own world, and the owner of your dreams. remember to live, to laugh and to love with great intensity and infuse all of your days with passion. remember that you are beautiful, beautiful, beautiful and your life is full of love. just open your eyes to it and you’ll be sure to find it. remember that nothing makes you feel warmer than someone’s name beating through your heart, keep those names, those pretty birds, keep them flowingflowingflowing through your veins, and remember that your love for them and their love for you keeps you strong. they’re your white blood cells and they’ll help you ward off the bad. every day is a good day to realize that you can change your life and that you can mold it into whatever shape you want it to be, but the beginning of a new year is an especially good time because the whole world is reminding you that new beginnings are always possible. happy new years lovelies, with love, we can all work together to make this next decade a good one."


"Heinously inflated prices, cheap fabrics, 3/4 length sleeves and boat-necks do not have to be tolerated! Say it loud!!!"

In addition to being a guitar player, singer, animator, visual artist, designer, bag maker, critical media reader, and all around kick-ass lady, my best friend is also a "plus-size" stunner who f**kin' hates most of the design out there labeled "goddess," "womens," and any other marketing euphemism for "over size 12." Towards taking down the offensive and simply poorly made, and propping up the awesomely done, she has just launched NonPlus, which she describes as "A size-positive, woman-positive web magazine exploring the heinous & not in the world of plus fashion." Check it out!
We are crazy about stripes over at NKSScreative.

Left: this photo made me smile.

Another great Pep Talk: When you feel great, it’s easy to forget what it’s like to hurt. Being happy and comfortable can make you more inclined to forgive (or at least forget) and give second chances. That’s an awfully noble inclination, but you must protect your happiness with everything you’ve got. If you’ve had your heart shat on twice by the same person, is giving them a third chance the best idea? You must act in your own best interest. You’ve worked and fought to become the bright, shiny person you are today and nobody, but nobody, is going to come between you and your joy. Today remind yourself: My happiness in hard won.

Rumors of Written-Word Death Greatly Exaggerated: "The written word is under a prolonged technological siege, according to conventional wisdom. But new research shows that Americans read more than they did in 1980."
R.I.P. David Levine. Thanks for the years of wonderful illustration. "David Levine, a painter and illustrator whose macro-headed, somberly expressive, astringently probing and hardly ever flattering caricatures of intellectuals and athletes, politicians and potentates were the visual trademark of The New York Review of Books for nearly half a century, died Tuesday in Manhattan. He was 83 and lived in Brooklyn." Left: Updike by Levine.

Full gallery here.


Top 10 movies of 2009, according to John Waters. I haven't seen any of them.

Image: from a 1920's Kodak camera.

I'm happy to report we are getting a pretty solid collection of posts up at NKSScreative!

This wing carabiner is awesome and affordable - woulda made a great stocking stuffer! Via the very cool Hickoree's Hard Goods.

“But the more blatant lesson of Avatar is not that American imperialism is bad, but that in fact it’s necessary. Sure there are some bad Americans—the ones with tanks ready to mercilessly kill the Na’vi population, but Jake is set up as the real embodiment of the American spirit. He learns Na’vi fighting tactics better than the Na’vi themselves, he takes the King’s daughter for his own, he becomes the only Na’vi warrior in centuries to tame this wild dragon bird thing. Even in someone else’s society the American is the chosen one. He’s going to come in, lead your army, fuck your princesses, and just generally save the day for you. Got it? This is how we do it.” - In Which We Teach James Cameron a Thing or Two, by Lauren Bans

Today marks the official start of Bar Study: Round 2 for me. Actual class starts Monday but my preparation begins today. So far in addition to the hurdles of concentration and boredom, there are also significant mental hurdles - the general reality of facing this process again, combined with having to hear from all the lectures in the video "The Bar isn't that hard! Do it once and do it right! You'll never have to take this test again!"....it can be difficult. But that's why I'm starting prep a week early - hopefully, I can get some of this emotion out at the beginning, and get down to the actual learning as soon as possible.


Maybe the best thing about Avatar is the interesting articles written about it, namely When Will White People Stop Making Movies Like Avatar?

Image: source.

I love pretty much everything they do here at Macha Jewelry, especially these signet rings and this gold knot necklace.

Not bad advice: “To those prospective law students applying to law school as a fallback in a bad economy, or because you want three more years to figure out what to do with your life: please save yourself time, money, and a huge amount of stress.” Lawyerist.

Another great Pep Talk: It’s that time again when we make resolutions and attempt to improve ourselves. How inspiring is that?! The very act of self evaluation shows a desire for positive growth and social betterment. You’re ready and willing to make changes and I have no doubt that the future will bring you cheery, lighthearted opportunities. Today remind yourself: The future is encouraging.


Totally immersed in "The Girl Who Played With Fire" right now - nothing like an absorbing book on a quiet day! Image.


As a long-time Counting Crow fan, it hurts me to say this but...I think this article is dead right about the worst song of the decade.

And speaking of the 90's, I gotta agree with NK: I miss the 90's!!! "Everyone says they love 90's fashion, but I really mean it. The nubby textures, the disheveled-ness and imperfections, the paradoxical representation of femininity - all impressive. The 90's felt so experimental and open. I hate how stagnant style and culture feel to me right now."

These embroidered constellations are beautiful!

Image: source.

Urban Weeds has quickly become one of my favorite street style blogs (if not my favorite) because of it's focus on real people (imagine that!) and, of course, the intense pangs of West Coast love it inspires in me every day....


Roger Ebert's best films of 2009.

12 better uses for the bailout, including buying a house for every homeless person in the United States, or 10 years of health insurance for uninsured Americans.

Start writing your blog again, Mindy Kaling! It's so good, and I pretty much agree with her on everything, from cardigans on dudes, to the joys of having your hair brushed, to the supremacy of lipgloss over lipstick: Things I've Bought That I Love.

Love these adorable and simply bird ornaments.

Image: source.

El Perro Del Mar, Change of Heart.

My beloved friend NK and I spend far too much time talking fashion - high fashion that is out of our price range and sometimes our comprehension; low brow fashion that fills us with consumerist glee; and workplace fashion that bores us to the core. Although we have different styles (she can pull off over the knee boots, prints of tiny animals, and high heels; I tend towards the flannel, leggings, and like to pretend that not brushing my hair is a fashion choice), we agree on a lot - that fashion and beauty standards for women are ridiculous; that clothing and makeup can be legit ways to play with creativity, self-image, and your way of interacting with the world; and that finding your style is a never-ending adventure.

So we've decided to cull these observations and loves and complaints into a blog solely devoted to fashion, called NKSScreative. It's still a baby, so hang in there while we work out the kinks and....enjoy! Check out NK's first post about the new Rodarte for Target line. Below, a post I wrote about the fashion in the movie "Up In The Air."

ps - Oh, and we both love Marc!

Up In The Air: The Female Professional

I saw "Up In The Air" last night - overall I thought it was a really good movie (if not terribly uplifting). One thing that interested me was the depiction of two strong women at different points in their career (both corporate): Alex (played by the luminous Vera Famigla) is a 34-year old, confident, sexy (but not overt) business woman. Natalie (played by newcomer Anna Kendrick) is 22-years-old, fresh out of Cornell and determined to make her mark in the business world.

It was great to see a movie portray two women grappling with the same issues of professional life, family, and relationships, in different stages of their lives. And I thought their wardrobes perfectly reflected their differences.

Clothes: Natalie (left) falls prey to the safety of the suit that occurs for so many young professional women - blue or white button down shirts, bland black suits (pant and skirt suits both, likely from Ann Taylor or, if she's more ambitious, Brooks Brothers) and black heels - all cotton, all (I would be willing to bet) no-iron (although you better believe she still irons).

Alex, on the other hand, still rocks the suits but wears clothes that flatter, not hide, her curves. Instead of the button down oxfords, she wears professional but soft silk shirts in tones like purple and pink. Her look is warmer and less stiff.

Natalie, while attempting to look grown up and mature with her outfits actually, like a lot of the young professional women I see, actually ends up looking younger because she looks (a) uncomfortable; (b) like she's raided someone else's closet (or, more specifically, window display); and (c) has no sign of uniqueness in her appearance. Alex's wardrobe shows that looking comfortable (as well as unafraid of your body and sexuality) can actually make you look more professional, not less (assuming, of course, you still abide by some rules - skirts to the knee, not too many buttons undone, etc).

Casual clothes: Well, we never see Natalie in casual clothes, which is probably the point. Alex, on the other hand, manages to pull off jeans and a hoody and still look like a powerful and confident 30-something, not a teeny bopper. Fitted, tailored jeans, a cashmere-looking hoody, and just the right amount of cleavage make her casual and still pulled together.

Hair: One othe first things you notice about Natalie is her extreme hairstyle. Slicked back, stick straight, and in a pony tale, her hair screams "no nonsense!" while still giving off the impression of immaturity (I have mixed feelings about ponytails in the professional setting....but that's another post).

Alex is styled with a shorter hair cut (to the chin) which is both more appropriate to her age and on-the-road lifestyle, and is also softer, less severe, and somehow also more mature (without being "old").

Coats: When bundling up for the colder locales, we again see a difference in their age and styles. Natalie (probably still recovering from those Ithaca winters) wears a bland, drab, shapeless, down jacket over her suits. Alex, on the other hand, wears a stunning red wool coat, which manages to work over suits or jeans while she's playing in the show. This sort of "classic" wardrobe piece is the elusive treasure all us modern girls are looking for - unique but not garish, appropraite for casual or work wear, and, simply, drop dead gorgeous (I can't find a good picture of it online!).

Overall: I liked that I came away from this movie wanting to be a woman (in life and in the workplace) not a girl. Natalie is a wonderful character, but you can tell she will be a lot happier when she stops trying so hard to make the perfect life, to be the perfect corporate achiever, and let's her hair down a little (in fact, in the final scenes she lets down a tendril or two). I also appreciated that the movie (semi-spoiler, I guess) didn't force a sexual relationship between her and George Clooney and let a man and a young woman (for once) have a non-sexual mentor-mentee relationship. How refreshing!

And while Alex isn't perfect in many ways (as George Clooney learns), she does give a glimmer of hope as a beacon of confident, sexual femininity even in a sterile, corporate, and male-dominated world. She shows that what is truly powerful and attractive is a comfort with yourself and your age, a knowledge about what you want from your personal and career life, and, thank god, a splash of color and silk.


Love this chunky glam necklace from Lara Lewis, hope she puts up more soon!

From the awesome Mindy Kaling in the New York Times, Scripting a Fantasy of a Family. Jezebel loves it too.

And on that note, I took some time to appreciate the magic that is Kelly Kapoor - here are some favorites: 1, 2, 3, 4. And I will willingly admit that I both laugh and cry every time I watch the Jim + Pam wedding scene.

Image: source.

Interesting! On the rise of the flapper: Several factors were in play in the 1920s for the emergence of what came to known as flappers, teenagers and young women who flaunted convention and spent their time pursuing fun instead of settling down to raise children in the prime of their lives. Many entered college or the workforce and felt entitled to make their own decisions about how to live their lives.

Another great pep talk: It's fantastic that your interests are varied. You're gifted in a bunch of different ways. Your talent gives options so you'll never be trapped with a single skill set. Your adaptability sets you free. Today remind yourself: I'm versatile.

Image: source.

Image: source.


The affordable stacks of mixed metals from Etsy shop Painted Metal are right up my ally, especially "coal & ice" and "white & gold."

Check out the cute prints at Rifle Paper Co.!

Image: source.

In honor of PC, Why Geologists Love Beer.

Florida Supreme Court Bans Shackles for Juveniles in Courtroom: The Florida Supreme Court has banned the widespread practice of shackling juvenile defendants in courtrooms, calling it "repugnant, degrading, humiliating and contrary to the state's primary purposes of the juvenile justice system."

More gorgeous antique jewelry from Erie Basin: these huge malachite earrings and this stunning amethyst ring. They are always a reliable source for one of a kind pieces.

More on the making of the awesome Fantastic Mr. Fox.

The beautiful Marc Jacobs Sasha bag now comes in grey - stunning.

"Karen Golinski, the staff attorney for the Ninth Circuit of Appeals, who has been refused shared spousal insurance benefits by the federal government, will not get them. That's the final word from her boss: the federal government."

Sarah Haskins: Lessons 2009!

I love that the slogan on these pro-choice license plates in Virginia is "Trust Women, Respect Choice."

Great news! Ban Lifted on Federal Funding for Needle Exchange: "Congress had banned the use of federal money to finance needle exchange programs. Supporters of the ban thought such programs encouraged drug use. Now, activists see the lifting of the ban as a step forward in the fight to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS."

Image: I knew Pamela Love's jewelry was cool, but her personal style is pretty sweet as well.


Recently I've watched a few episodes of the new drama Mercy on Hulu. It's a standard drama about nurses working at a hospital - not groundbreaking but enjoyable, and interesting because it also deals with PTSD of doctors and nurses who have been in Iraq. However, a recent episode left me seriously upset, angry, and disappointed. In th episode two men were admitted for injuries they sustained from fighting each other - it turned out they were a couple. They were placed in the same room for treatment, no one ONCE mentioned the words "domestic violence," their fight was played as a "aren't gay men so dramatic," and the treating nurse was determined to get them to stay together. To top off the insult and injury, at the end of the episode the token gay nurse storms in and gives a speech about how "we" worked so hard to get the right to marry, they can't just give the relationship up. What!? I don't think you would ever see a show where a man and woman beat each other up, it's treated as a joke, and the whole episode was about getting them to stay together. And if you did, their would be an outcry. As there should be for this show. Big FAIL, Mercy.

EDIT: Wow, just to make the disparity even more glaring, a later episode features a woman who is a DV victim and the exact same nurse that disregarded the men in an abusive situation devotes herself to getting a female DV victim to leave her abusive spouse. Wow, glad to see that domestic violence is taken seriously....when its a straight white woman.


Awesome film by Charles and Ray Eames for Polaroid. (h/t the wonderful Swiss Miss)

I love this basic black dress from Ruche!

Image: source.

Just finished The Elegance of the Hedgehog - I wasn't as thrilled as I had hoped to be. There is something difficult about an author who decides to have two characters that are "geniuses" - it makes it seem, to me at least, like they (the author) is using it as a way to convey their "genius" thoughts, and wore thin for me fairly quickly. The book did pick up about halfway through, but then seemed to end abruptly. That said, there were a number of times i dog-eared a page because of a turn of phrase or observation I liked, so it certainly wasn't a complete disappointment. I hope we have a good conversation about it at our January book club meeting!

For the other book club I've recently joined, we just had a great discussion about Say You're One of Them. We all agreed the book was uneven, but when it was good, it was heartbreaking. Next up for this book club if The Help.

The NYTimes has a great article on artists who quit their full-time jobs to make it as independent sellers on Etsy. Also keep in mind these amazing shops for independent, unique, and handmade gifts for this holiday season (or any other time!): Elsewares and Buy Olympia


Travel + Leisure rates the world's top 50 hotels - all pretty drool worthy.

'Out West' at the Autry examines the history of homosexuals and transgender people in the Old West.

Image: source.

I love this simple mixed-metal necklace, these amazing mottled brass earrings, and these really unique red silk twist earrings, all from Etsy sellers.

This hot springs in Colorado looks like a dream vacation.

This wallet is probably as close as I'll ever get to owning Proenza Schouler...but I'll take it! That blue is to die for.

Portland, OR based Stone & Honey has some amazing jewelry! I particularly love this unique pulse necklace (gold is my favorite but the oxidized silver is pretty badass as well), and their really creative use of agates and crystals.


See these adorable slippers? My mom MADE me a pair for Christmas! Pretty awesome, right?

Love this horizontal turquoise ring, 'golden drop' earrings, and jasper necklace from Sara Westermark's Etsy shop (I got a pair of these earrings from her before and they were great!).

Image: source.

Customizable Keds? Loving it.

Slate ranks the best jazz albums of 2009. And Pitchfork's top 100 tracks of '09.

Rogue Femme Art to appear in Art Calendar Magazine! Congrats, ELM, for continuing to be an example of amazing talent combined with sheer willpower and determination!

Manola Dargis loses her sh*t on Hollywood - and it's awesome. "I don't want to be the woman critic. I don't want to be the feminist critic. I don't want to be the shrew. What I want to do is talk about the art that I love and point out, every so often, inequities"

Oooooh! Aaaaah! Old Hollywood has a plethora of amazing, unique jewelry finds...

Parole is a difficult issue to discuss but it NEEDS to be a topic of public awareness and involvement. From the LA Times: When California denies a murderer parole, should it need a reason?: Eligible prisoners can't be refused early release just because of the gravity of their crimes -- 'some evidence' has to show the inmate would pose a threat to public safety, some judges have ruled. (h/t Crim Prof Blog)

Image: source.
Interesting article about the movie Gomorrah. I wasn't as blown away as a lot of people by the movie, but it was definitely a view of Sicily and organized crime that I hadn't seen before.

Yet another amazing bag from Valhalla - drool!

Left: check out (fellow Bard class of '03 member!) Angie Smith's series Rodeo Queens - great stuff.

Upsetting but not surprising: New York Finds Extreme Crisis in Youth Prisons: A report by a state panel found physical abuse and untreated addiction and mental illness common in prisons for young offenders.

Just finished "The Elegance of the Hedgehog." In my opinion, it didn't quite live up to the hype, but I'm hoping it sparks some good conversation for my first book club meeting!



NK and I spend a lot of time on Etsy and generally come away with one of three responses: (1) Yikes!; (2) I could do that!; or, (3) I wish I could do that! Here are some of our favorite Etsy finds of the season - enjoy! xoxoxo

(1) A terrarium is a random gift, but who wouldn't benefit from a little more greenery in her or his life? I would
daydream about a little elf running through this one. - N

(2) This simple, chic dress would make anyone look instantly put-together. I'd wear it with my hair in a bun and some sparkling studs. - N

(3) This reconstructed blue plaid shirt has just the right amount of darting and ruffles to make it a little bit "girly" without being ridiculous. - S

(4) This bone and gold feather necklace manages to be both delicate and bold at the same time. - S

(5) These yellow bee earrings would be a great shot of color for the dreary winter. - S

(6) For the professional vintage queen in your life. Be sure she doesn't actually wear it to a deposition though! - N

(7) A fierce statement ring (that only an equally fiece girl could get away with). - N

(8) I've never actually dated a guy who knew how to wear cufflinks comfortably (someday, someday), but maybe some of you up there in Boston have? - N

(9) This letterpress print poster (L) is a great piece of inspiration for anyone in your life. So would this beautiful and heartfelt piece of affordable art(R). - S

(10) For your geeky BFF. - N


The debate over a public law school in Mass (UMass Law at this point) continues.

Don't think I'm bold enough to try wearing bow ties but love this spread from CaliVintage!

If I was rich I would buy my friend NK this adorable bunny necklace - so perfect for her!

This is a great, affordable (and vegan) bag from ModCloth.

Image: source.

Really upsetting: Poor Children Likelier to Get Antipsychotics: Some children from poor families may be receiving powerful drugs because it is deemed a cheaper way to treat a problem.

Image: source.


Fabulous Gifts Under $50!

The wonderful NK helped me round up these great gift ideas that cost under $50, all great for the ladies in your life (left to right) (click on the photo to enlarge):

Sweet Nothing Necklace: I love almost all the unique jewelry on Bona Drag and this necklace is a perfect example of their keen eye for combining the classic with the sassy.

Essie Nail Polish: Admit it: you've fallen for the status symbol that is Chanel Jade nails. If you're too practical or too broke to shell out for the real deal, try this Essie mini collection. There is just enough Mint Candy Apple in this little bottle to keep you from feeling wasteful by the time you've realized that pastel green nails really don't look great against any skin tone!

Early Bird Alarm Clock: Help your friends start their days off right with this adorable alarm clock which slowly illuminates as the bird chirps.

Brass Tube Necklace: I love the way this necklace looks like tiny, hollowed bamboo pieces from afar.

Nancy Drew Notecards: I have long adored Nancy Drew, the titian-headed gumshoe who's too classy to ever chew or step in gum. Encourage your bestie to keep in touch via these adorable notecards.

D.S. & Durga Eau De Parfum: D.S. & Durga get it right every single time with their unfussy, sophisticated scents. My personal favorite from this collection is Smoked Amber. (Editorial disclosure: the beautiful and talented Durga has been a friend of mine since we were little girls.)

Compacts: These sparkly compacts are adorable, the hardest part is deciding which one to get - the adorable cat, the romantic heart, or the ornate peacock?

East Coast-West Coast Tote: My heart is torn between the two coasts, so this bag is a happy medium.

Fair Trade Desk Organizer: This homey desk organizer would warm up a sterile or corporate desk and office - a great gift for the reluctant young professional.

Striped Gloves: Now that the first snow storm has hit, I'm remembering how much I love fingerless gloves, and these ones solve the problem of cold finger tips with pull-over mitten tops. And stripes never get old.

Maggie Bucket Bag: This is the classiest looking $44 bag I've seen in a while.

Stuffed "Wee Gray Wolf": What is there to say other than this little guy's name is Hamish?


Had a great meal at Craigie on Main last night - service was great, decor was warm, the burger was juicy and delicious (and actually arrived medium, like I wanted!) and it was all topped off with the best beer I've had in a long time, the Jack D'or from Cambridge's own Pretty Things Brewery.

These earrings are ridiculously beautiful - and way outta my budget.

Left: my beloved Ramona from the Jezebel article Can The Right Books Make Feminist Kids?

I posted on Facebook recently about my love of books and my dislike for the Kindle, and it started quite the discussion! My passion was largely emotional - a love of the tangible page, a belief in the importance of the bookstore as a space for art and conversation - but friends brought up other great points about the role of eReaders in the homogenization of the literary world and the way that "e text books" take away the potential for affordable used books. It's a discussion I'm sure will continue for a long time...

On that note, this weekend Dean reviewed the third novel in Steig Larsson's trilogy. I thoroughly enjoyed the first book (although that seems weird to say about such a violent and dark book) and am looking forward to reading the second over my upcoming long weekend family vacation. (h/t Alaska Employment Law Blog, ie my dad's blog).

The fashionable NK and I are putting together a few "gift guides" for the season, so stay tuned if you still need holiday present ideas! First up: recession appropriate presents under $50.


I love Marc Jacobs' whole line of bird bags - this dream bag is on sale, but that still doesn't put it in the "reasonable" range....

And speaking of birds, Digby & Iona has a great new sparrow necklace and ring, plus these feather earrings.

Image: source.

Starting a "boot camp" at my gym Monday - never done something like that before, but hoping its a good kick start for getting in better shape....sort of nervous about having someone yell at me while I work out though!

Gorgeous new dresses from Ruche: tri-colored and pink, basic sparkly black, purple ruffles!

“Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself that you tasted as many as you could.” - Louise Erdich, The Painted Drum


This winter is all about boots, thick leggings, and cozy dresses for me - and this one is definitely on my wishlist - looks ideal for the chilly Boston weather!

Awesome mixed metal and crystal necklace.

Image: source.

Support (the amazing) RadioLab!

An interview with John Darnielle who, I must say, put on a surprisingly rockin' show this past weekend.

I just started reading the collection of stories, Say You're One of Them. It's very readable in the sense that it's well written and immediately absorbing, but difficult to read in the intensity of its content and the difficult lives of the protagonists...Recommended, but brace yourself.

Definitely have a crush on this bold, yet delicate, leaf ring (in gold, of course).